Relationship between oriental migratory locust plague and soil moisture extracted from MODIS data

Zhenbo Liu, Xuezheng Shi, Eric Warner, Yunjian Ge, Dongsheng Yu, Shaoxiang Ni, Hongjie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Locust plagues have been the source of some of the most severe natural disasters in human history. Soil moisture content is among the most important of the numerous factors influencing plague onset and severity. This paper describes a study initiated in three pilot locust plague monitoring regions, i.e., Huangzao, Yangguanzhuang, and Tengnan in Huanghua county, Hebei province, China, to examine the impact of soil moisture status on oriental migratory locust [Locusta migratoria manilensis (L.) Meyen] plague breakout as related to the life cycle, oviposition in autumn, survival in winter, and incubation in summer. Thirty-nine temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI) data sets, which represent soil moisture content, were extracted from MODIS remote sensing images for two representative time periods: a severe locust plague breakout year (2001-2002) and a slight plague year (2003-2004). TVDI values demonstrated distinctive soil moisture status differences between the 2 years concerned. Soil moisture conditions in the severe plague year were shown to be lower than those in slight plague year. In all three pilot regions, average TVDI value in the severe plague year was 0.07 higher than that in slight plague year, and monthly TVDI values in locust oviposition period (September and October) and incubation period (March, April and May) were higher than their corresponding monthly figures in slight plague year. No remarkable TVDI differences were found in other months during the locust life cycle between the 2 years. TVDI values for September and October (2001), March, April and May (2002) were 0.11, 0.08, 0.16, 0.11 and 0.16 higher than their corresponding monthly figures in 2003-2004 period, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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