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Sensors and Materials, Volume 33, Number 11(1) (2021)
Copyright(C) MYU K.K.
pp. 3693-3708
S&M2718 Research Paper of Special Issue
Published: November 17, 2021

Application of Remote Sensing Technology to Monitoring of Vegetation Recovery and Regional Precipitation in Wenchuan Earthquake Area: Case Study of Longxi River Basin [PDF]

Biyun Guo, Mantravadi Venkata Subrahmanyam, Aiguo Li, and Guangzhe Liu

(Received February 17, 2021; Accepted May 11, 2021)

Keywords: precipitation, earthquake, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), vegetation coverage, remote sensing

The Wenchuan earthquake occurred in Sichuan Province, China, on May 12, 2008, and caused a large number of secondary geological disasters such as collapses, debris flows, and landslides, as well as extensive damage to local vegetation. The earthquake had an impact on the regional climate, seriously affecting the sustainable development of the regional environment and economy. In this study, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was used to characterize the vegetation status, which was calculated from images acquired by the MODIS sensor. Based on the vegetation cover and precipitation of the area affected by the Wenchuan earthquake over about 70 years, in this paper we analyze the characteristics of vegetation changes and their impact on the climate after the earthquake. The results revealed that the above secondary geological disasters caused by the earthquake destroyed vegetation. After the earthquake, NDVI decreased from 0.394 in 2007 to 0.383 on July 1, 2008, and then increased year by year to 0.413 in 2015, except in 2010. During the two years after the earthquake, several large-scale debris flows occurred in this area, damaging the surface vegetation, so the vegetation coverage was low in 2010. The change of the land cover has an indirect impact on the local precipitation. The annual and seasonal (except winter) precipitation trended downward from 1948 to 2018, with an annual average decrease of 1.6069 mm, but trended upward from 2008 to 2018, with an annual average increase of 14.012 mm, after the Wenchuan earthquake, indicating the recovery of vegetation. The increased vegetation promoted regional precipitation, but the interaction mechanism between the vegetation cover and the precipitation is complex. The effect of the vegetation differs in different regions and cannot be generalized. This study provides theoretical support for vegetation restoration and environmental management in areas with strong earthquakes.

Corresponding author: Biyun Guo, Mantravadi Venkata Subrahmanyam

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Cite this article
Biyun Guo, Mantravadi Venkata Subrahmanyam, Aiguo Li, and Guangzhe Liu, Application of Remote Sensing Technology to Monitoring of Vegetation Recovery and Regional Precipitation in Wenchuan Earthquake Area: Case Study of Longxi River Basin, Sens. Mater., Vol. 33, No. 11, 2021, p. 3693-3708.

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