Detecting desertification in different years and rainfall regimes by 2D Scatter Plot


  • Thiago dos Santos Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Adunias Teixeira Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Fabricio Terra Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri
  • Luis Clenio Moreira Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Ceará
  • Raul Toma Universidade Federal do Ceará


Albedo. Soil Line. Time Series. Big data.


The desertification process causes soil degradation and a reduction in vegetation. The absence of visualisation techniques and the broad spatial and temporal dimension of the data hampers the identification of desertification and rapid decision-making by multidisciplinary teams. The 2D Scatter Plot is a two-dimensional visual analysis of reflectances in the red (630 – 690 nm) and near-infrared (760 – 900 nm) bands to visualise the spectral response of the vegetation. The hypothesis of this study is that visualising the reflectances of the vegetation by means of a 2D scatter plot will allow desertification to be inferred. The aim of this study was to identify desertified areas and characterise the spatial and temporal dynamics of the vegetation and soil during dry (DP) and rainy (RP) periods between 2000 and 2008, using a 2D scatter plot. The 2D scatter plot generated by the Envi® 4.8 software and the reflectances in bands 3 and 4 of the TM5 sensor were used within communities in the Irauçuba hub (Ceará, Brazil). The concentration densities of the near-infrared reflectances of the vegetation pixels were observed. Each community presented pixel concentrations with reflectances of less than 0.4 (40%) during each of the periods under evaluation, indicating little vegetation development, with further degradation caused by deforestation, the use of fire and overgrazing. The 2D scatter plot was able to show vegetation with low reflectance in the near infrared during both dry and rainy periods between 2000 and 2008, thereby inferring the occurrence of desertification.






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