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Feasibility of Vegetation Temperature Condition Index for monitoring desertification in Bulgan, Mongolia

Desertification monitoring as a main portion for understand desertification, have been
conducted by many scientists. However, the stage of research remains still in the level of comparison of the
past and current situation. In other words, monitoring need to focus on finding methods of how to take
precautions against desertification. In this study, Vegetation Temperature Condition Index (VTCI), derived
from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperature (LST), was utilized to
observe the distribution change of vegetation. The index can be used to monitor drought occurrences at a
regional level for a special period of a year, and it can also be used to study the spatial distribution of drought
within the region. Techniques of remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) were combined to
detect the distribution change of vegetation with VTCI. As a result, assuming that the moisture condition is
the only main factor that affects desertification, we found that the distribution of vegetation in Bulgan,
Mongolia could be predicted in a certain degree, using VTCI. Although desertification is a complicated process
and many factors could affect the result. This study is helpful to provide a strategic guidance for combating
desertification and allocating the use of the labor force.