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Variability in MODIS NDVI in Relation to Southwest Monsoon over Western Ghats, India

T. V. Lakshmi Kumar1*, R. Uma1, K. Koteswara Rao2, H. Barbosa3, E. Prabha Jothi4 and K. V. K. R. K. Patnaik5

  1. Atmospheric Science Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, SRM University, Kattankulathur 603203, India
  2. Climatology & Hydrometeorology Division, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune 411008, India
  3. Universidade Federal de Alagoas, UFAL, Maceió, AL, 57072-970, Brasil
  4. Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Bangalore 560064, India
  5. Indian Maritime University, Visakhapatnam 530005, India

*Corresponding author. Tel: +91 9962908939 Fax: Email:


Eleven years (2000 to 2010) of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, derived from Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra with 250 m resolution is used in the present study to discuss the changes in the vegetal cover over Western Ghats, India. The NDVI over Western Ghats (number of test sites are 16) showed increasing tendency and the pronounced changes in NDVI have been studied in the context of southwest monsoon's distribution and activity. The NDVI progression is observed from June with a minimum value of 0.179 and yielded to a maximum at 0.565 during September/October, on an average. The study then relates NDVI with different rainy events to understand the connection between the ground vegetation and the south west monsoon. The results of the study inferred are as follows: i) NDVI, Antecedent Precipitation Index (API) are in good agreement throughout the monsoon which is evidenced by correlation; ii) NDVI maintained good correlation with a number of Light and Moderate Rainy days alternatively but not with the number of Heavy Rainy days; iii) Relation of NDVI with Isolated, Scattered distributions and active monsoons is substantial; and iv) Rate of Green Up is captured by the satellite during the crop growing season over the Western Ghats.

Keywords: MODIS NDVI, southwest monsoon, crop phenology, Western Ghats

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