Monitoring the Spring 2021 Drought Event in Taiwan Using Multiple Satellite-Based Vegetation and Water Indices

Chien Ben Chou, Min Chuan Weng, Huei Ping Huang, Yu Cheng Chang, Ho Chin Chang, Tzu Ying Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The monitoring of droughts is practically important yet challenging due to the complexity of the phenomena. The occurrence of drought involves changes in meteorological conditions, vegetation coverage and soil moisture. To advance the techniques for detecting and monitoring droughts, this study explores the usage of a suite of vegetation and water indices derived from high-resolution images produced by geostationary satellite Himawari-8. The technique is tested on the detection of the drought event in Spring 2021 across Taiwan due to deficit of precipitation in that season. It is found that the time series analysis of green chlorophyll index (CIgreen) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) helps detect the initiation of drought before its severity intensifies. The vegetation condition index (VCI) and vegetation health index (VHI) derived from GIgreen and NDVI are similarly useful for the early warning of a drought event. In addition to vegetation indices, the normalized difference water index (NDWI) is adopted for quantifying the deficit in precipitation. It is found that NDWI provides a better early warning system of drought compared to the vegetation indices. Combining the vegetation and water indices allows a more complete description of the evolution of drought for the Spring 2021 event. The potential for using the new framework for the early warning of future drought events is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1374
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Himawari-8
  • drought indexes
  • drought monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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