Review of Drought Monitoring by Remote Sensing

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, CUMTB, Beijing 100083, China

Received date: 2012-04-24

  Revised date: 2012-04-24

  Online published: 2012-04-24


Drought is one of the most extensive natural disasters in the world which could cause serious economic losses. It is important to monitor large area drought events. Remote sensing technology has a great advantage in large-area monitoring of drought. In this paper, methods for drought monitoring by remote sensing are reviewed, including their advantages and disadvantages and their applications. These methods includes thermal inertia and microwave methods for bare surface, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Anomaly Vegetation Index, Vegetation Condition Index, Normalized Difference Water Index, Normalized Difference Drought Index and Vegetation Supplication Water Index based on visible, near infrared, shortwave reflectance data for partly and fully covered surface. Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index, Temperature Condition Index, Crop Water Stress Index, and Water Deficit Index based on thermal infrared remote sensing data for partly and fully covered surface are introduced too. Finally, the trend of remote sensing for drought monitoring is discussed.

Cite this article

LIU Huan , LIU Ronggao, LIU Shiyang . Review of Drought Monitoring by Remote Sensing[J]. Journal of Geo-information Science, 2012 , 14(2) : 232 -239 . DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1047.2012.00232


[1] Wilhite D A. Drought as a natural hazard: Concepts and definitions[M]. //Wilhite D A (ed.). Drought: global assessment. New York: Routledge, 2000,3-18.
[2] 北京青年报.
[3] 新民晚报. 0.shtml.2011-5-30.
[4] 第一财经日报.
[5] 中华人民共和国救灾司. 2011-5-28.
[6] Heim R R. A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States[J]. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 2002, 83:1149-65.
[7] 齐述华. 干旱监测遥感模型和中国干旱时空分析. 中国科学院研究生院论文,2004.
[8] Curran P J. The use of polarized panchromatic and falscolor infrared film in the monitoring of soil surface moisture[J]. Remote Sensing of Environment, 1979, 8(3):249-266.
[9] Bartholic J E, Namken L N, Wiegand C L. Aerial thermal scanner to determine temperatures of soils and crop canopies differing in water stress[J]. Agronomy Journal, 1972, 64: 603-608.
[10] Price J. The potential of remotely sensed thermal infrared data to infer surface soil moisture and evaporation[J]. Water Resour. Res., 1980, 16(4):787-795.
[11] Jackson R D. Discrimination of growth and water stress in wheat by various vegetation indices through clear and turbid atmospheres[J]. Remote Sensing of Environment, 1983, 13: 187-208.
[12] Waston K, Rowen L C, Offield T W. Application of thermal modeling in the geologic interpretation of IR images[J]. Remote Sensing of Environment, 1971, 3: 2017-2041.
[13] Guo Q, Li G C. Monitoring of soil moisture by apparent thermal inertia method[J]. Chinese Journal of Agrometeorology, 2005, 26 (4) :215-219.
[14] 李杏朝.微波遥感监测土壤水分的研究初探[J]. 遥感技术与应用,1995,10 (4) :1-8.
[15] Rouse J W Jr., Haas H R, Deering D W, Schell J A and Harlan J C.. Monitoring the vernal advancement and retrogradation (green wave effect) of natural vegetation[R]. NASA/GSFC Type III Final Rep., Greenbelt, Md.1974,371.
[16] Reed B C. Using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems for analyzing landscape/drought interaction[J]. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 1993, 14, 3489-3503.
[17] Kogan F N. Remote sensing of weather impacts on vegetation in nonhomogeneous area[J]. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 1990, 11:1405-1420.
[18] Liu W T, Kogan F N. Monitoring regional drought using the vegetation condition index[J]. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 1996, 17(14) : 2761-2782.
[19] Feng Q, Tian G L, Wang A S, et al. Experimental study on drought monitoring by remote sensing in China by using vegetation condition index (I) -Data analysis and processing[J]. Arid Land Geography, 2004, 27(2): 131-136.
[20] 宋小宁, 赵英时. 应用MODIS卫星数据提取植被-温度-水分综合指数的研究[J]. 地理与地理信息科学, 2004, 20(2): 13-17.
[21] Fensholt R, Sandholt I. Derivation of a shortwave infrared water stress index from MODIS near and shortwave infrared data in a semiarid environment[J]. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2003(87): 111-121.
[22] Gu Y, Brown J F, Verdin J P and Wardlow B. A five-year analysis of MODIS NDVI and NDWI for grassland drought assessment over the central Great Plains of the United States[J]. Geophysical Research Letters, 2007, 34, L06407. doi:10.1029/2006GL029127.
[23] Wang L, Qu J J, Hao X. Forest fire detection using the normalized multi-band drought index (NMDI) with satellite measurements[J]. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2008, 148:1767-1776.
[24] 陈添宇,姚志华. 用NOAA卫星资料监测土壤湿度方法的探讨[J]. 甘肃气象,1997,15 (3) :28-29.
[25] Gurney R J, Ormsby J P and Hall D K. Observed relation between thermal emission and reflected spectral radiance of a complex vegetated landscape[R]. Permafrost: Fourth Int. Conf., Fairbanks, AK, University of Alaska and National Academy of Sciences, 1983,401-404.
[26] Moran M S, Clarke T R, Inoue Y, Vidal A. Estimating crop water deficit using the relation between surface airtemperature and spectral vegetation index[J]. Remote Sensing of Environment, 1994, 49 (2): 246-263.
[27] Price J C. Using spatial context in satellite data to infer regional scale evapotranspiration[J]. IEEE Trans. Geosci.Remote Sens, 1990, 28:940-948.
[28] Sandholt Z, Rasmussen K, Andersen J. A simple interpretation of the surface temperature/vegetation index space for assessment of surface moisture status[J]. Remote Sensing of Environrnent, 2002, 79: 213-224.
[29] 齐述华,王长耀,牛铮.利用温度植被旱情指数进行全国旱情监测研究[J]. 遥感学报, 2003, 7 (5) :420-428.
[30] 姚春生,张增祥,汪潇. 使用温度植被干旱指数法(TVDI)反演新疆土壤湿度[J]. 遥感技术与应用, 2004, 19(6):473-478.
[31] Karniel A. Use of NDVI and land surface temperature for drought assessment: Merits and limitations[J]. Journal of Climate, 2009, 23:618-633.
[32] Kogan F N. Application of vegetation index and brightness temperature for drought detection[J]. Advances in Space Research, 1995(15) : 91-100.
[33] Idso S B, Jackson R D, Pinter P J Jr, et al. Normalizing the stress degree day for environmental variability[J]. Agricultural Meteorology, 1981(24): 45-55.
[34] Jackson R D, Kustas W P, et al. A reexamination of the crop water stress index[J]. Irrigation Science, 1988 (9): 309- 317.
[35] 齐述华,张源沛,牛铮,等. 水分亏缺指数在全国干旱遥感监测中的应用研究[J]. 土壤学报, 2005,42 (3) :367-372.
[36] Kogan F. Global drought and flood-watch from NOAA polar-orbitting satellites[J]. Advances in Space Research, 1998, 21(3): 477-480.
[37] 齐述华, 李贵才. 利用MODIS 数据产品进行全国干旱监测的研究[J]. 水科学进展, 2005, 16 (1) : 56-61.
[38] Kondoh A, Kishi S. The use of multi-temporal NOAAPAVHRR data to monitor surface moisture status in the Huaihe River basin, China[J]. Advances in Space Research, 1998, 22 (5): 645-654.
[39] Li H, Lei Y, Li Z, Mao R. Calculating regional drought indices using evapotranspiration (ET) distribution derived from Landsat7 ETM+ data[R]. SPIE Conference on Remote Sensing & Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability II, San Diego, CA (US),2005.