Drought monitoring of the wetland in the Tumen River Basin between 1991 and 2016 using Landsat TM/ETM+

Hangnan Yu, Lan Li, Weihong Zhu, Dongfan Piao, Guishan Cui, Moonil Kim, Seong Woo Jeon, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Wetland areas are known as ‘the kidneys of the Earth’ because they provide important functions towards stabilizing the environment, long-term protection of water sources, effectively minimizing sediment loss, purifying surface water from industrial and agricultural pollutants, and enhancing aquifer recharge. The condition of water supply in wetlands directly affects the growth of wetland plants and local biodiversity. Therefore, drought monitoring is vital in wetlands. In this study, Vegetation Temperature Condition Index (VTCI) derived from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) is used to observe the drought status of the wetland in the cross-border (China and North Korea) Tumen River Basin from 1991 to 2016. For this purpose, the Landsat Thematic Mapper/Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (TM/ETM+) data for six periods were used for the analysis. Soil moisture maps acquired from the China Meteorological Administration Land Data Assimilation System Version 1.0 (CLDAS-V1.0) were then introduced for validating the reliability of the drought monitoring method. The results showed that most areas with a normal moisture level (decreased 25.8%) began experiencing slight drought (increased 29.7%). The coefficient of determination (R 2 ) between VTCI and soil moisture showed values of 0.69, 0.32, and 0.2 for 0–5 cm, 0–10 cm, and 10–20 cm thicknesses, respectively. Although climate change probably contributes to the formation of drought by decreasing precipitation (50 mm decrease in Chinese section) and increasing temperature (0.5°C  increase in North Korean section), human activities such as surges in daily water consumption appear as the main threats that leading to droughts in this wetland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1459
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 16

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Programme under Grant 'See-At(see-Atmosphere) (KMIPA 2015-6140). The first author would like to thank 'China Scholarship Council' for the financial support of the research.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Programme.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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