Phan, VH; Dinh, VT; Su, ZB (2020). Trends in Long-Term Drought Changes in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam. REMOTE SENSING, 12(18), 2974.

In recent years, short droughts in the dry season have occurred more frequently and caused serious damages to agriculture and human living in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam (MRD). The paper attempts to quantify the trends of drought changes in the dry seasons from 2001 to 2015 in the region, using daily MODIS MOD09GQ and MOD11A1 data products. Here, we exploit the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) to assess levels of droughts. For each image-acquisition time, the TVDI image is computed, based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), derived from red and near infrared reflectance data, and the Land Surface Temperature (LST), derived from thermal infrared data. Subsequently, a spatiotemporal pattern of drought changes is estimated, based on mean TVDI values of the dry seasons during the observed period, by a linear regression. As a result, the state of drought in the dry seasons in the MRD has mostly been at light and moderate levels, occupying approximately 62% and 34% of the total area. Several sub-areas in the center have an increased trend of drought change, occupying approximately 12.5% of the total area, because impervious surface areas increase, e.g., the obvious land use change, from forest land and land for cultivation for perennial trees being strongly converted to built-up land for residence and public transportation. Meanwhile, several sub-areas in the coastal regions have a negative trend of drought change because water and absorbent surface areas increase, e.g., most of land for cultivation for perennial trees has been converted to aquaculture land. These cases usually occur in and surrounding forest and wet land, also occupying approximately 12.5% of the total area.