Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

MODIS Related Abstracts

9 Satellite Derived Snow Cover Status and Trends in the Indus Basin Reservoir

Authors: Mirza Muhammad Waqar, Muhammad Tayyab Afzal, Muhammad Arslan


Snow constitutes an important component of the cryosphere, characterized by high temporal and spatial variability. Because of the contribution of snow melt to water availability, snow is an important focus for research on climate change and adaptation. MODIS satellite data have been used to identify spatial-temporal trends in snow cover in the upper Indus basin. For this research MODIS satellite 8 day composite data of medium resolution (250m) have been analysed from 2001-2005.Pixel based supervised classification have been performed and extent of snow have been calculated of all the images. Results show large variation in snow cover between years while an increasing trend from west to east is observed. Temperature data for the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) have been analysed for seasonal and annual trends over the period 2001-2005 and calibrated with the results acquired by the research. From the analysis it is concluded that there are indications that regional warming is one of the factor that is affecting the hydrology of the upper Indus basin due to accelerated glacial melting during the simulation period, stream flow in the upper Indus basin can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy. This conclusion is also supported by the research of ICIMOD in which there is an observation that the average annual precipitation over a five year period is less than the observed stream flow and supported by positive temperature trends in all seasons.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, indus basin, MODIS, snow cover

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8 Application of Satellite Remote Sensing in Support of Water Exploration in the Arab Region

Authors: Eman Ghoneim


The Arabian deserts include some of the driest areas on Earth. Yet, its landforms reserved a record of past wet climates. During humid phases, the desert was green and contained permanent rivers, inland deltas and lakes. Some of their water would have seeped and replenished the groundwater aquifers. When the wet periods came to an end, several thousand years ago, the entire region transformed into an extended band of desert and its original fluvial surface was totally covered by windblown sand. In this work, radar and thermal infrared images were used to reveal numerous hidden surface/subsurface features. Radar long wavelength has the unique ability to penetrate surface dry sands and uncover buried subsurface terrain. Thermal infrared also proven to be capable of spotting cooler moist areas particularly in hot dry surfaces. Integrating Radarsat images and GIS revealed several previously unknown paleoriver and lake basins in the region. One of these systems, known as the Kufrah, is the largest yet identified river basin in the Eastern Sahara. This river basin, which straddles the border between Egypt and Libya, flowed north parallel to the adjacent Nile River with an extensive drainage area of 235,500 km2 and massive valley width of 30 km in some parts. This river was most probably served as a spillway for an overflow from Megalake Chad to the Mediterranean Sea and, thus, may have acted as a natural water corridor used by human ancestors to migrate northward across the Sahara. The Gilf-Kebir is another large paleoriver system located just east of Kufrah and emanates from the Gilf Plateau in Egypt. Both river systems terminate with vast inland deltas at the southern margin of the Great Sand Sea. The trends of their distributary channels indicate that both rivers drained to a topographic depression that was periodically occupied by a massive lake. During dry climates, the lake dried up and roofed by sand deposits, which is today forming the Great Sand Sea. The enormity of the lake basin provides explanation as to why continuous extraction of groundwater in this area is possible. A similar lake basin, delimited by former shorelines, was detected by radar space data just across the border of Sudan. This lake, called the Northern Darfur Megalake, has a massive size of 30,750 km2. These former lakes and rivers could potentially hold vast reservoirs of groundwater, oil and natural gas at depth. Similar to radar data, thermal infrared images were proven to be useful in detecting potential locations of subsurface water accumulation in desert regions. Analysis of both Aster and daily MODIS thermal channels reveal several subsurface cool moist patches in the sandy desert of the Arabian Peninsula. Analysis indicated that such evaporative cooling anomalies were resulted from the subsurface transmission of the Monsoonal rainfall from the mountains to the adjacent plain. Drilling a number of wells in several locations proved the presence of productive water aquifers confirming the validity of the used data and the adopted approaches for water exploration in dry regions.

Keywords: Thermal Infrared, MODIS, Sahara, radarsat, SRTM, near-surface water, ancient rivers, desert, Arabian peninsula

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7 Spatial Interpolation of Aerosol Optical Depth Pollution: Comparison of Methods for the Development of Aerosol Distribution

Authors: Hwee San Lim, Sahabeh Safarpour, Khiruddin Abdullah, Mohsen Dadras


Air pollution is a growing problem arising from domestic heating, high density of vehicle traffic, electricity production, and expanding commercial and industrial activities, all increasing in parallel with urban population. Monitoring and forecasting of air quality parameters are important due to health impact. One widely available metric of aerosol abundance is the aerosol optical depth (AOD). The AOD is the integrated light extinction coefficient over a vertical atmospheric column of unit cross section, which represents the extent to which the aerosols in that vertical profile prevent the transmission of light by absorption or scattering. Seasonal aerosol optical depth (AOD) values at 550 nm derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor onboard NASA’s Terra satellites, for the 10 years period of 2000-2010 were used to test 7 different spatial interpolation methods in the present study. The accuracy of estimations was assessed through visual analysis as well as independent validation based on basic statistics, such as root mean square error (RMSE) and correlation coefficient. Based on the RMSE and R values of predictions made using measured values from 2000 to 2010, Radial Basis Functions (RBFs) yielded the best results for spring, summer, and winter and ordinary kriging yielded the best results for fall.

Keywords: MODIS, aerosol optical depth, spatial interpolation techniques, Radial Basis Functions

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6 Using Time Series NDVI to Model Land Cover Change: A Case Study in the Berg River Catchment Area, Western Cape, South Africa

Authors: Adesuyi Ayodeji Steve, Zahn Munch


This study investigates the use of MODIS NDVI to identify agricultural land cover change areas on an annual time step (2007 - 2012) and characterize the trend in the study area. An ISODATA classification was performed on the MODIS imagery to select only the agricultural class producing 3 class groups namely: agriculture, agriculture/semi-natural, and semi-natural. NDVI signatures were created for the time series to identify areas dominated by cereals and vineyards with the aid of ancillary, pictometry and field sample data. The NDVI signature curve and training samples aided in creating a decision tree model in WEKA 3.6.9. From the training samples two classification models were built in WEKA using decision tree classifier (J48) algorithm; Model 1 included ISODATA classification and Model 2 without, both having accuracies of 90.7% and 88.3% respectively. The two models were used to classify the whole study area, thus producing two land cover maps with Model 1 and 2 having classification accuracies of 77% and 80% respectively. Model 2 was used to create change detection maps for all the other years. Subtle changes and areas of consistency (unchanged) were observed in the agricultural classes and crop practices over the years as predicted by the land cover classification. 41% of the catchment comprises of cereals with 35% possibly following a crop rotation system. Vineyard largely remained constant over the years, with some conversion to vineyard (1%) from other land cover classes. Some of the changes might be as a result of misclassification and crop rotation system.

Keywords: Land Cover, change detection, MODIS, NDVI

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5 Grassland Phenology in Different Eco-Geographic Regions over the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Jiahua Zhang, Fengmei Yao, Qing Chang


Studying on the response of vegetation phenology to climate change at different temporal and spatial scales is important for understanding and predicting future terrestrial ecosystem dynamics andthe adaptation of ecosystems to global change. In this study, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset and climate data were used to analyze the dynamics of grassland phenology as well as their correlation with climatic factors in different eco-geographic regions and elevation units across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that during 2003–2012, the start of the grassland greening season (SOS) appeared later while the end of the growing season (EOS) appeared earlier following the plateau’s precipitation and heat gradients from southeast to northwest. The multi-year mean value of SOS showed differences between various eco-geographic regions and was significantly impacted by average elevation and regional average precipitation during spring. Regional mean differences for EOS were mainly regulated by mean temperature during autumn. Changes in trends of SOS in the central and eastern eco-geographic regions were coupled to the mean temperature during spring, advancing by about 7d/°C. However, in the two southwestern eco-geographic regions, SOS was delayed significantly due to the impact of spring precipitation. The results also showed that the SOS occurred later with increasing elevation, as expected, with a delay rate of 0.66 d/100m. For 2003–2012, SOS showed an advancing trend in low-elevation areas, but a delayed trend in high-elevation areas, while EOS was delayed in low-elevation areas, but advanced in high-elevation areas. Grassland SOS and EOS changes may be influenced by a variety of other environmental factors in each eco-geographic region.

Keywords: MODIS, elevation, grassland, phenology, eco-geographic regions, climatic factors, Tibetan Plateau

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4 Wildland Fire in Terai Arc Landscape of Lesser Himalayas Threatning the Tiger Habitat

Authors: Amit Kumar Verma


The present study deals with fire prediction model in Terai Arc Landscape, one of the most dramatic ecosystems in Asia where large, wide-ranging species such as tiger, rhinos, and elephant will thrive while bringing economic benefits to the local people. Forest fires cause huge economic and ecological losses and release considerable quantities of carbon into the air and is an important factor inflating the global burden of carbon emissions. Forest fire is an important factor of behavioral cum ecological habit of tiger in wild. Post fire changes i.e. micro and macro habitat directly affect the tiger habitat or land. Vulnerability of fire depicts the changes in microhabitat (humus, soil profile, litter, vegetation, grassland ecosystem). Microorganism like spider, annelids, arthropods and other favorable microorganism directly affect by the forest fire and indirectly these entire microorganisms are responsible for the development of tiger (Panthera tigris) habitat. On the other hand, fire brings depletion in prey species and negative movement of tiger from wild to human- dominated areas, which may leads the conflict i.e. dangerous for both tiger & human beings. Early forest fire prediction through mapping the risk zones can help minimize the fire frequency and manage forest fires thereby minimizing losses. Satellite data plays a vital role in identifying and mapping forest fire and recording the frequency with which different vegetation types are affected. Thematic hazard maps have been generated by using IDW technique. A prediction model for fire occurrence is developed for TAL. The fire occurrence records were collected from state forest department from 2000 to 2014. Disciminant function models was used for developing a prediction model for forest fires in TAL, random points for non-occurrence of fire have been generated. Based on the attributes of points of occurrence and non-occurrence, the model developed predicts the fire occurrence. The map of predicted probabilities classified the study area into five classes very high (12.94%), high (23.63%), moderate (25.87%), low(27.46%) and no fire (10.1%) based upon the intensity of hazard. model is able to classify 78.73 percent of points correctly and hence can be used for the purpose with confidence. Overall, also the model works correctly with almost 69% of points. This study exemplifies the usefulness of prediction model of forest fire and offers a more effective way for management of forest fire. Overall, this study depicts the model for conservation of tiger’s natural habitat and forest conservation which is beneficial for the wild and human beings for future prospective.

Keywords: GIS, landsat, MODIS, fire prediction model, forest fire hazard, TAL

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3 A Decadal Flood Assessment Using Time-Series Satellite Data in Cambodia

Authors: Nguyen-Thanh Son


Flood is among the most frequent and costliest natural hazards. The flood disasters especially affect the poor people in rural areas, who are heavily dependent on agriculture and have lower incomes. Cambodia is identified as one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, ranked 13th out of 181 countries most affected by the impacts of climate change. Flood monitoring is thus a strategic priority at national and regional levels because policymakers need reliable spatial and temporal information on flood-prone areas to form successful monitoring programs to reduce possible impacts on the country’s economy and people’s likelihood. This study aims to develop methods for flood mapping and assessment from MODIS data in Cambodia. We processed the data for the period from 2000 to 2017, following three main steps: (1) data pre-processing to construct smooth time-series vegetation and water surface indices, (2) delineation of flood-prone areas, and (3) accuracy assessment. The results of flood mapping were verified with the ground reference data, indicating the overall accuracy of 88.7% and a Kappa coefficient of 0.77, respectively. These results were reaffirmed by close agreement between the flood-mapping area and ground reference data, with the correlation coefficient of determination (R²) of 0.94. The seasonally flooded areas observed for 2010, 2015, and 2016 were remarkably smaller than other years, mainly attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon exacerbated by impacts of climate change. Eventually, although several sources potentially lowered the mapping accuracy of flood-prone areas, including image cloud contamination, mixed-pixel issues, and low-resolution bias between the mapping results and ground reference data, our methods indicated the satisfactory results for delineating spatiotemporal evolutions of floods. The results in the form of quantitative information on spatiotemporal flood distributions could be beneficial to policymakers in evaluating their management strategies for mitigating the negative effects of floods on agriculture and people’s likelihood in the country.

Keywords: Flood, Mapping, MODIS, Cambodia

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2 Multicriteria for Optimal Land Use after Mining

Authors: Carla Idely Palencia-Aguilar


Mining in Colombia represents around 2% of the GDP (USD 8 billion in 2018), with main productions represented by coal, nickel, gold, silver, emeralds, iron, limestone, gypsum, among others. Sand and Gravel had been decreasing its participation of the GDP with a reduction of 33.2 million m3 in 2015, to 27.4 in 2016, 22.7 in 2017 and 15.8 in 2018, with a consumption of approximately 3 tons/inhabitant. However, with the new government policies it is expected to increase in the following years. Mining causes temporary environmental impacts, once restoration and rehabilitation takes place, social, environmental and economic benefits are higher than the initial state. A way to demonstrate how the mining interventions had contributed to improve the characteristics of the region after sand and gravel mining, the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) from MODIS and ASTER were employed. The histograms show not only increments of vegetation in the area (8 times higher), but also topographies similar to the ones before the intervention, according to the application for sustainable development selected: either agriculture, forestry, cattle raising, artificial wetlands or do nothing. The decision was based upon a Multicriteria analysis for optimal land use, with three main variables: geostatistics, evapotranspiration and groundwater characteristics. The use of remote sensing, meteorological stations, piezometers, sunphotometers, geoelectric analysis among others; provide the information required for the multicriteria decision. For cattle raising and agricultural applications (where various crops were implemented), conservation of products were tested by means of nanotechnology. The results showed a duration of 2 years with no chemicals added for preservation and concentration of vitamins of the tested products.

Keywords: Geostatistics, multicriteria, ASTER, MODIS

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1 Red-Tide Detection and Prediction Using MODIS Data in the Arabian Gulf of Qatar

Authors: Yasir E. Mohieldeen


Qatar is one of the most water scarce countries in the World. In 2014, the average per capita rainfall was less than 29 m3/y/ca, while the global average is 6,000 m3/y/ca. However, the per capita water consumption in Qatar is among the highest in the World: more than 500 liters per person per day, whereas the global average is 160 liters per person per day. Since the early 2000s, Qatar has been relying heavily on desalinated water from the Arabian Gulf as the main source of fresh water. In 2009, about 99.9% of the total potable water produced was desalinated. Reliance on desalinated water makes Qatar very vulnerable to water related natural disasters, such as the red-tide phenomenon. Qatar’s strategic water reserve lasts for only 7 days. In case of red-tide outbreak, the country would not be able to desalinate water for days, let alone the months that this disaster would bring about (as it clogs the desalination equipment). The 2008-09 red-tide outbreak, for instance, lasted for more than eight months and forced the closure of desalination plants in the region for weeks. This study aims at identifying favorite conditions for red-tide outbreaks, using satellite data along with in-situ measurements. This identification would allow the prediction of these outbreaks and their hotspots. Prediction and monitoring of outbreaks are crucial to water security in the country, as different measures could be put in place in advance to prevent an outbreak and mitigate its impact if it happened. Red-tide outbreaks are detected using different algorithms for chlorophyll concentration in the Gulf waters. Vegetation indices, such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) were used along with Surface Algae Bloom Index (SABI) to detect known outbreaks. MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) bands are used to calculate these indices. A red-tide outbreaks atlas in the Arabian Gulf is being produced. Prediction of red-tide outbreaks ahead of their occurrences would give critical information on possible water-shortage in the country. Detecting known outbreaks in the past few decades and related parameters (e.g. water salinity, water surface temperature, nutrition, sandstorms, … etc) enables the identification of favorite conditions of red-tide outbreak that are key to the prediction of these outbreaks.

Keywords: Water desalination, Arabian Gulf, MODIS, red-tide detection, strategic water reserve

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