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Ghulam, A, Qin, QM, Kusky, T, Li, ZL (2008). A re-examination of perpendicular drought indices. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 29(20), 6037-6044.

In this letter, the performance of newly developed drought indices, the perpendicular drought index (PDI) and modified perpendicular drought index (MPDI), are further explored for regional surface dryness monitoring to provide clear guidance on appropriate implementation of these indices over different eco-systems through in-depth analysis of their advantages and constraints. Spatio-temporal patterns of surface drought derived by MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based PDI and MPDI are compared against field-measured soil moisture (SM), rainfall, and regional hydrological conditions. Results indicate that there are significant negative correlations between the PDI, the MPDI, and mean 0-20cm SM content and rainfall. The PDI and the MPDI provide similar results at the early stage of vegetation growth, but a greater agreement between the drought information extracted by the MPDI and field measurements is observed for vegetated surfaces where the PDI fails. Therefore, it is recommended that PDI be used for bare soil applications, since it does not require calculation of additional information such as the fraction of vegetation which may contain some uncertainties, but the MPDI should be used for vegetated regions.



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