Zhang, WJ, Lu, QF, Gao, ZQ, Peng, J (2008). Response of remotely sensed normalized difference water deviation index to the 2006 drought of eastern sichuan basin. SCIENCE IN CHINA SERIES D-EARTH SCIENCES, 51(5), 748-758.
One of the most serious droughts in last century occurred in eastern Sichuan Basin in the summer of 2006 (hereinafter called the Drought). The response of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, boarding on NASA satellites of Terra and Aqua) to the Drought was analyzed in order to reach one practicable monitoring solution for regional soil moisture. Temporal process and spatial extension of the Drought were firstly estimated with ground meteorological and hydrological observations. Then, for the whole region of Sichuan and Chongqing, the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) for the summers of 2001-2006 were calculated based on 8-day composite MODIS products, which were further used to construct a new water index (Normalized Difference Water Deviation Index, NDWDI) to examine the sensitivity of remote sensing in the Drought. The study showed that the NDWDI is more sensitive to regional drought than other absolute-soil-moisture-based indices. With the new index, the study extracted the spatial-temporal characteristics of the 2006 Drought, and explored its developing and withdrawing processes, which agreed with related statistics. Compared with ground method of drought observation, the NDWDI-based remote sensing solution of this paper is more preferable and practicable in that the local soil properties of water consumption and supply are implicitly taken into account, and the spatial representativity limit of ground observation is circumvented to a degree as satellite remotely senses the earth surface in a way of two-dimensional pixel matrix. So, the NDWDI-based method can be used to monitor regional soil water stress situation more practically and efficiently.