Earth  ID: 2937

NDVI Anomalies Show Areas of Likely Drought in the Western US (wide view)

Satellite data can gauge the health of plants, which is a good indicator of drought. Satellite imagery shows changes in vegetation between 1999 and 2003. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measures how dense and green plant leaves are, which suggests overall vegetative health. The NDVI images are also useful as a measure of drought when compared to 'normal' plant health. NASA scientists calculate average NDVI values for an area to find out what is normal at a particular time of year. This data was measured by the vegetation instrument on Europe's SPOT satellite provided by DigitalGlobe/SPOT, under agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS). In 2002, drought had settled across the Midwest. Large dark brown sections of eastern Colorado show where vegetation was less lush and healthy than normal. This version of the visualization is a wide view showing the western United States.

Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Assaf Anyamba (UMBC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. DigitalGlobe/SPOT data provided under agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) The Blue Marble Next Generation data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC) and NASA's Earth Observatory.

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:
SPOT-4/VGT-S10/NDVI 1999/08/10, 2000/08/10, 2001/08/10, 2002/08/10, 2003/08/10
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble: Next Generation 1/1/2004 - 12/31/2004
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Drought
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Photosynthesis
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Plant Growth
SVS >> Location >> Western United States
SVS >> Biosphere >> Forestry
SVS >> Biosphere >> Agriculture
SVS >> Terrestrial Food
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version