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A Comparative Study for Performance of Five Landsat-based Vegetation Indices: Their Relations to Some Ecological and Terrain Variables


Spectral vegetation indices and their relations to some ecological and terrain variables in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) is the main objective of this study. A mosaic of two Landsat-7 ETM+ images was utilized to produce five spectral vegetation indices, and Terra ASTER Digital Elevation Model (DEM) dataset were employed. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Optimized Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (OSAVI), Tasseled Cap Greenness, Land Surface Temperature (LST) were utilized for this study. The results of the current study revealed that MSAVI2 is more reliable and accurate in depicting the vegetation presence in the IKR, which is occupied 34.7% of the total study area in 2014. In terms of terrain variables, all vegetation indices responded to variation of aspect ratio variation. It was found that the densest vegetation exists between 180 to 350°. Mainly, in the South (157.5°-202.5°), Southwest (202.5°-247.5°), West (247.5°-292.5°), Northwest (292.5°-337.5°), and North (337.5°-360°). In contrast, from the aspect ratio point of view, vegetation cover growth was in its maximum status in the shaded side of the mountains, more than the sunny side. Additionally, the adequate slope for vegetation growth in the mountainous lands is 9-17%. Statistically, the LST appeared negative relations with vegetation indices and elevation


Vegetation Indices, Landsat ETM , GIS, Kurdistan, Iraq



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