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13 February 2004 Application of NOAA-AVHRR for desertification monitoring in central Asia and western China
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The primary purpose of this study was to estimate the boundary between vegetated and non-vegetated areas and to assess the condition of desertification in central Asia and western China located in arid and semiarid regions. Remote sensing data used in this study are a time-series of 10-day maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) composites derived from Global Area Coverage of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) from 1982 to 2000. Taking place and development of desertification in the arid and semiarid regions directly influence the density and growth status of vegetation, making surface vegetation a most important indicator to desertification assessment. Vegetation is very sparse in desert and therefore onset of green-up in the desert was undetectable with AVHRR NDVI data. The occurrence of onset of green-up, as determined with time series NDVI data was used to identify desert and non-desert areas. The coefficient of variation (CoV) of the monthly NDVI (maximum-value composite) is used as a parameter to characterize the changes of vegetation in this work. The CoV can be used to compare the amount of variation in different sets of samples data. Changes in the value of the pixel-level CoV over time can be interpreted as a measure of vegetative biomass change over that time. The method to detect and quantify changes in CoV values for each pixel over 20-year period for which data was available is based on linear regression. If the CoV values exhibit a statistically significant decrease over time, it is possible to conclude that the area imaged in that pixel is under desertification.
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Aixia Liu, Changyao Wang, Zhengjun Liu, Zheng Niu, and Junbang Wang "Application of NOAA-AVHRR for desertification monitoring in central Asia and western China", Proc. SPIE 5239, Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology III, (13 February 2004);

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