ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2019, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp. 133-142

Long term trends in vegetation in Tien-Shan and Dzungarian Alatau from eMODIS NDVI C6 data (2002–2019)

A.G. Terekhov 1, 2 , I.S. Vitkovskaya 1 , N.N. Abayev 2, 3 , S.A. Dolgikh 2 
1 Institute of Information and Computing Technology MES RK, Almaty, Kazakhstan
2 RSE Kazhydromet, Almaty, Kazakhstan
3 al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Accepted: 24.10.2019
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2019-16-6-133-142
Product eMODIS NDVI C6 was used for monitoring the conditions of mountain alpine (subalpine) meadows and mountain forest zones of the Tien Shan and Dzungarian Alatau. The product is characterized by 10-day renewal, 250 m resolution, and an archive from 2002 to 2019, which is available on Early Warning and Environmental Monitoring Program website. The maximum NDVI values accumulated for 10–31 July were used as a seasonal characteristic of the vegetation cover conditions. Fifteen contours from the Northern, Eastern and Inner Tien Shan as well as the Dzungarian Alatau were considered in this paper. It was obtained that for the period 2002–2016, trends for long-term changes in the values of the vegetation index NDVI were poorly expressed with a slight improvement over the period. The last three years (2017–2019) were anomalous and characterized by high NDVI values, which formed a tendency for vegetation improvement. To analyze the correlation in vegetation dynamics in different regions of the Tien Shan, a modified Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) was used. NDVI time series were converted to VCI index with a universal scale for all contours, where 0 is long-term minimum; 50 is arithmetic average for the period; 100 is long-term maximum. It was found that the main changes are connected to a relative degradation of vegetation in the Northern Tien Shan that includes four ranges: Kyrgyz, Zailiysky Alatau, Kungei Alatau and Ketmen. Unlike other Tien Shan mountain ranges, the Northern Tien Shan is the first to interact with atmospheric currents (western transport) carrying moisture. Thus, the registered relative changes in the vegetation cover in the Tien Shan from 2002 to 2019 can be interpreted as a result of the efficiency decrease in interaction of the frontal Tien Shan ranges with western atmospheric transport and an increase in the proportion of moisture entering the inner ridges.
Keywords: NDVI, VCI, long-term dynamic, Tien-Shan, Dzungarian Alatau, vegetation change, alpine (subalpine) meadows, mountain forests
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