Sun, XF; Wang, M; Li, GC; Wang, YY (2020). Regional-scale drought monitor using synthesized index based on remote sensing in northeast China. OPEN GEOSCIENCES, 12(1), 163-173.

Drought has a significant impact on agricultural, ecological, and socioeconomic spheres. Although many drought indices have been proposed until now, the detection of droughts at regional scales still needs to be further studied. The Standardized Vegetation Index (SVI) that represents vegetation growing condition, the Standardized Water Index (SWI) that represents canopy water content, and the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) that quantifies anomalies in the ratio of actual to potential evapotranspiration were calculated based on the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. A new remote sensing-based Vegetation Drought Monitor Synthesized Index (VDSI) was proposed by integrating the SVI, SWI, and ESI in the northeast China. When tested against the in situ Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), VDSI with proper weights of three variables outperformed individual remote sensing drought indices. The county-level yields of the main crops in the study area from 2001 to 2010 were also used to validate the VDSI. The correlation analysis between the yield data and the VDSI data during the crop growing season was performed, and its results showed that VDSI during the crop reproductive growth period was strongly correlated with the variation of crop yield. It was proved that this index is a potential indicator for assessment of the spatial pattern of drought severity in northeast China.