Drought monitoring in cultivated areas of Central America using multi-temporal MODIS data

C. F. Chen, N. T. Son, C. R. Chen, S. H. Chiang, L. Y. Chang, Miguel Valdez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Drought is the most pressing problem facing farmers in Central America, and information on drought is thus crucial for agronomic planners to minimize impacts on crop production and food supply. This study assessed the cultivated areas affected by droughts using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data during 2001–2014, processed using a simple vegetation health index (VHI). The results, verified with the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) precipitation data and TVDI (temperature vegetation dryness index), indicated that the correlation coefficients (r) between the VHI and AMSR2 precipitation data for 2013 and 2014 were 0.81 and 0.78, respectively, and the values between VHI and TVDI were –0.68 and –0.61, respectively. The largest area of severe drought was especially observed for the 2014 primera season (April–August) over the last 14 years. The drought mapping results were aggregated with the cultivated areas for crop monitoring purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-417
Number of pages16
JournalGeomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2017


  • Central America
  • Drought
  • cultivated areas
  • remote sensing


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