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Paper Information

Journal:   GEOGRAPHICAL DATA   Spring 2019 , Volume 28 , Number 109 #R00459; Page(s) 137 To 146.

Monitoring the regional drought using the LANDSAT images Case Study: The City of Kermanshah

Author(s):  SOLTANI MILAD*, soltani Adel, Kalehhouei Mahin, SOLAIMANI KARIM
* Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran
Introduction Drought is a serious danger with very extensive impacts on the soil, economy, and the threat to the livelihood and health of local communities. This disaster as an unpleasant climatic phenomenon that directly affects the communities through restrictions on access to water resources, causes high economic, social and environmental costs. Meteorological drought indicators are calculated directly from meteorological events such as precipitation, and in the absence of these data, drought monitoring will not be useful. Due to the fact that meteorological drought indicators are only valid for a single location and do not have the required spatial resolution and are also dependent on weather station information, and these stations are often distributed distantly, the reliability of these indicators has been questioned. Given the characteristics of satellite data such as spatial and temporal resolution, extensive coverage of studied areas, and direct investigation of vegetation status by satellite indices, many studies have been carried out for drought modeling using this technology and these indicators. Over the past four decades, far-reaching drought monitoring tools have been widely developed and drought monitoring models are widely proposed, which are generally based on vegetation indices, surface temperature, humidity and reflection in the visible and infrared regions. These include leaf water content index, vegetation cover index and temperature-drought-vegetation index. Therefore, remote sensing techniques can be a useful tool in drought monitoring. The purpose of this study is to monitor drought and vegetation health in the city of Kermanshah using LANDSAT satellite imagery. For this purpose, first, by examining the rain-gauging and synoptic data of existing stations and using the standard precipitation index model, the driest year and one wet year were selected as the sample. In this study, two years of 2015 and 2016 were selected as the dry and wet years and then, the vegetation cover of the region was compared with the Landsat images. To use these images, it is first necessary to make sure that there is no geometric error. For this purpose, the road vector layer was used, which was revealed that the images have geometric errors. Images with less than a half-pixel error were corrected geometrically using 21 and 24 auxiliary points. The adaptation of the vector layers with the roads existing in the image indicated the accuracy of the correction. At the next stage, the driest year and one wet year were selected as samples by examining the rain-gauging and synoptic data of the existing stations and by using the standardized model of rainfall index. At the next stage, the Temperature Condition Indices and Vegetation Health Index (VHI) were compared in two wet and drought periods were studied in order to determine the differences of these indices during a dry year and a year with high precipitation. For this purpose, each of the aforementioned indices was built using the LANDSAT-8 imagery, and the stages of building these indices were subsequently presented. The required pre-processing and processing as well as the geometric and radiometric corrections were first performed on the satellite images. Then, temperature condition indices, vegetation status index and vegetation health index were prepared for drought monitoring. Considering that, the meteorological drought indices are only valid for a single location and lack the required spatial resolution and are also dependent on the information of the meteorological stations, and these stations are often distributed far apart from each other, the reliability of these indexes has been questioned. Satellite data characteristics like high spatial and temporal resolution, extensive coverage of the study areas, and direct survey of the vegetation status by the satellite indexes have led to a large number of studies on drought modeling using this technology, and the confirmation of the use of these indices. The aim of this study is to determine the moisture, heat and health of the vegetation using the LANDST images. Thus, the results of the study in the next stage indicated that the LANDSAT images and the built indices have the required capabilities to monitor drought. The results of this research can be a proper option for decision-makers to effectively supervise, examine and resolve the drought conditions and double the necessity of profile definition. Supplementary studies are suggested for spatial drought monitoring by satellite imagery through ground measurements of the quantitative changes in the coverage and temperature of the earth’ s surface. There are limitations in the use of NDVI and satellite thermal bands. These include weather and cloud conditions that should be considered. Using maps obtained from the drought monitoring and evaluating indices can help improve drought management programs and play a significant role in reducing the effects of drought. Using vegetation health status index, it was determined that the vegetation status has had a lot of changes during drought compared to the wet period, hydrological drought has had a major share in the destruction of vegetation and drying of the lakes and, consequently, the abandonment of agricultural lands and the lack of access to alternative water resources, as well as the lack of groundwater resources or the lack of alternative surface water resources have intensified, and it seems that, this part of Iran will face numerous problems if the drought continues in the coming years and the appropriate methods are not used to deal with it. Also, given that the water resources of the region are going to decrease in the coming decades, the necessity of using comprehensive water management methods in all sectors, including the reserve, transfer and distribution sectors seems very essential and inevitable. Finally, it is expected that the trend of destruction of vegetation decreases in the future by applying proper management practices, sustainable water distribution, regional negotiations, methodical agriculture as well as the establishment of optimal hydrological conditions.
Keyword(s): Drought monitoring,Remote sensing,Vegetation health index (VHI),Kermanshah
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