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Gamo, M., Shinoda, M. and Maeda, T. 2013. Classification of arid lands, including soil degradation and irrigated areas, based on vegetation and aridity indices. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 34(19): 6701-6722


Description:

Classification of arid lands, including soil degradation and irrigated areas, based on vegetation and aridity indices.

Summary / Notes:

It is preferable to prepare internally consistent maps of arid regions on a global scale in order to understand the present conditions of arid regions, especially deserts and soil degradation areas. We attempted to delimit arid regions at a global scale by combining climate data, i.e. aridity index (AI), and vegetation data, i.e. vegetation index. The annual AI was estimated by the ratio of mean annual precipitation to mean annual potential evapotranspiration, using the Thornthwaite method. The long-term mean of yearly maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVIymx) was used as an indicator of the vegetation condition. Arid regions of the world were classified into four categories, namely A, severe deserts, where both aridity and vegetation indices are very small; G, semi-arid regions, where the vegetation index is proportionally related to the AI; I, irrigated areas and oases, where the vegetation is relatively abundant despite severe dryness; and S, soil degradation areas, where the vegetation is poor despite relatively humid conditions. The Sahel from Niger to Chad, the Sahel in Darfur, and the Ordos Plateau in China are within Category S. The standard deviation of NDVIymx is very small/large in severe deserts/semi-arid areas, respectively. Thus, the Sahara desert was clearly distinguished from the Sahel; the latter belongs to Category G and drought occurs frequently here. In Category S zones, the standard deviation of NDVIymx is relatively small compared with that within the Category G zone because the return rainfall does not seem to promptly restore productivity. Category S was divided into three subdivisions according to the degree of degradation, expressed by the ratio of the AI to vegetation index. Category G was also divided into four classes, according to degree of vegetation (or aridity). The distribution of Category S is comparable to the soil degradation areas mapped by Global Assessment of Human-Induced Soil Degradation (GLASOD) data. True deserts, where the standard deviation of NDVIymx is very small, were selected from the ‘severe desert’ group. Desert areas were classified as true deserts, severe deserts, grassland deserts (Category G), and soil degradation deserts (Category S).

Year: 2013

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01431161.2013.805281#.VHWEu2ctBHg


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