Drought and elevation effects on MODIS vegetation indices in northern Arizona ecosystems

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Northern Arizona ecosystems are particularly sensitive to plant-available moisture and have experienced a severe drought with considerable impacts on ecosystems from desert shrub and grasslands to pinyon-juniper and conifer forests. Long-term time-series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) are used to monitor recent regional vegetation activity and temporal patterns across various ecosystems. Surface air temperature, solar radiation and precipitation are used to represent meteorological anomalies and to investigate associated impacts on vegetation greenness. Vegetation index anomalies in the northern Arizona ecosystem have a decreasing trend with increasing surface air temperature and decreasing precipitation. MODIS NDVI and EVI anomalies are likely sensitive to the amount of rainfall for northern Arizona ecosystem conditions, whereas inter-annual variability of surface air temperature accounts for MODIS NDVI anomaly variation. The higher elevation area shows the slow vegetation recovery through trend analysis from MODIS vegetation indices for 2000-2011 within the study domain and along elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4889-4899
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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