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National Drought Mitigation Center

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Researchers Use Satellite Data to Analyze Drought’s Effect on Temperatures and Vegetation Health

September 9, 2011

Citation: Swain, S., B. Wardlow, S. Narumalani, T. Tadessse, and K. Callahan. 2011. Assessing Vegetation Response to Drought in Nebraska Using Terra-MODIS Land Surface Temperature and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 48 (3): 432-455. DOI: 10.2747/1548-1603.48.3.1.

Abstract: Eight-day composite Terra-MODIS cumulative LST and NDVI timeseries data were used to analyze the responses of crop and grassland cover types to drought in Nebraska. Four hundred ninety 1 km pixels that included irrigated and non-irrigated corn and soybeans and three grassland cover types were selected across the state of Nebraska. Statistical analyses revealed that the majority of the land cover pixels experienced significantly higher daytime and nighttime LSTs and lower NDVI during the drought-year growing season (p < 0.01). Among the land cover types analyzed, grassland experienced the highest increase in daytime LST and decrease in NDVI.

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