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Title: Vegetation dynamics in a tropical river basin inferred from MODIS satellite data
Authors: Laxmi, K.
Nandagiri, Lakshman
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering, 2013, Vol.6, 6, pp.1416-1428
Abstract: The objective of this study was to analyze temporal and spatial dynamics of vegetation and land use/land cover (LU/LC) characteristics in a humid tropical river basin originating in the forested Western Ghats mountain ranges using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data. Both intra-annual and inter-annual variations in the parameters related to vegetation were analyzed in the Netravathi river basin (3314 km2) which is located in Karnataka State, India. MODIS data products on Land Surface Temperature and Reflectance were used as input to map the pixel-wise variations in albedo, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Fraction of Vegetation (Fr) and Land Surface Temperature (LST) for two dates each (summer and winter) during the years 2002 and 2006. The fact that 2002 experienced a relatively wet summer followed by a relatively dry winter and 2006 experienced opposite conditions, proved useful in interpreting variations as influenced by wetness conditions. Overall results indicated significant variability in the parameters for major LU/LC classes of evergreen /semievergreen forest, scrub forest and agriculture. While albedo values appeared quite sensitive to wetness conditions, NDVI (and Fr) exhibited significant seasonal changes for some LU/LC classes but remained largely unaffected by wetness conditions. LST values corrected for elevation effects (LST*) were influenced by both LU/LC and wetness conditions. Differences in LST* values were as high as 70K between summer and winter of 2006 for some LU/LC classes. Lowest temperatures were recorded for the evergreen/ semievergreen forest class. Similar inferences could be drawn when variations in parameters were analyzed for 20 selected pixels located at different elevations and possessing each of the eight LU/LC classes. The methodology proposed in this research may prove to be useful in regional scale monitoring and mapping of tropical forests and other LU/LC categories in a convenient and cost-effective manner. MODIS satellite data products used in this study provides information on surface characteristics at a reasonable resolution. This permits identification of not only differences in LU/LC classes but also on changes in surface characteristics as influenced by season and wetness conditions. � 2013 CAFET-INNOVA TECHNICAL SOCIETY.
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