Lin, ML, Chen, CW, Wang, QB, Cao, Y, Shih, JY, Lee, YT, Chen, CY, Wang, S (2009). Fuzzy model-based assessment and monitoring of desertification using MODIS satellite imagery. ENGINEERING COMPUTATIONS, 26(8-Jul), 745-760.
Purpose - The growing rate of desertification in Northwestern China and Mongolia that is occurring as a result of the conflict between economic development and natural conservation has been demonstrated in many studies. There have, for example, been some large studies using variations in bi-weekly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite images as a parameter for evaluating the vegetation dynamics in these areas. The purpose of this paper is to identify multi-temporal variation in vegetated and non-vegetated areas in remotely sensed satellite images to assess the status of desertification in East Asia. Design/methodology/approach - Spatial data derived from these satellite images are applied to evaluate vegetation dynamics on a regional level, to identify the areas most vulnerable to desertification. Findings - Analytical results indicate that the desert areas in East Asia are primarily distributed over Southern Mongolia, Central and Western Inner Mongolia, and Western China (the Taklimakan Desert). These desert areas expanded from 2000 to 2002, shrunk in 2003, then expanded again from 2003 to 2005. The areas most at risk for desertification are principally distributed in Southeastern Mongolia, and Eastern Inner Mongolia. Originality/value - Simulation results based on data for deserts distributed throughout Northwestern China and Mongolia indicate that the proposed fuzzy model-based method would be helpful for assessing and monitoring desertification. These analytical results will help administrators refine planning processes, define the boundaries of protected areas, and facilitate decisions for prioritizing areas for desertification protection.