Mapping the spatial-temporal dynamics of vegetation response lag to drought in a semi-arid region

Li Hua, Huidong Wang, Haigang Sui, Brian Wardlow, Michael J. Hayes, Jianxun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Drought, as an extreme climate event, affects the ecological environment for vegetation and agricultural production. Studies of the vegetative response to drought are paramount to providing scientific information for drought risk mitigation. In this paper, the spatial-temporal pattern of drought and the response lag of vegetation in Nebraska were analyzed from 2000 to 2015. Based on the long-term Daymet data set, the standard precipitation index (SPI) was computed to identify precipitation anomalies, and the Gaussian function was applied to obtain temperature anomalies. Vegetation anomaly was identified by dynamic time warping technique using a remote sensing Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series. Finally, multilayer correlation analysis was applied to obtain the response lag of different vegetation types. The results show that Nebraska suffered severe drought events in 2002 and 2012. The response lag of vegetation to drought typically ranged from 30 to 45 days varying for different vegetation types and human activities (water use and management). Grasslands had the shortest response lag (~35 days), while forests had the longest lag period (~48 days). For specific crop types, the response lag of winter wheat varied among different regions of Nebraska (35-45 days), while soybeans, corn and alfalfa had similar response lag times of approximately 40 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1873
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2019


  • DTW
  • Drought monitoring
  • Drought response lag
  • Lag correlation coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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