Drought Spatiotemporal Characteristics Based on a Vegetation Condition Index in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq


  • Heman Abdulkhaleq A. Gaznayee Department of Forestry, College of Sciences of Agricultural Engineering, Salahaddin University, Erbil 44002, Iraq. ORCID ID (0000-0002-1549-407X) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1549-407X
  • Ayad M. Fadhil Al-Quraishi Department of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tishk International University, Erbil 44001, Iraq. ORCID ID (0000-0001-7732-129X)
  • Ahmed Hashim A. Al-Sulttani Department of Environmental Planning, Faculty of Physical Planning, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq, ORCID ID (0000-0001-5251-7755)




Drought, Landsat time series, VCI, Crops yield, Erbil


     Drought is a complex phenomenon that has severe impacts on the environment. Vegetation and its conditions are very sensitive to drought effects. This study aimed to monitor and assess the drought severity and its relationships to some ecological variables in ten districts of Erbil Governorate (Kurdistan Region), Iraq, throughout 20 years (1998-2017). The results revealed that droughts frequently hit Erbil throughout the study period. The Landsat time-series- based on Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) significantly correlated with precipitation, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and latitude. Extreme VCI-based drought area percentages were recorded in 1999, 2000, 2008, and 2011 by 43.4%, 67.9%, 43.3%, and 40.0%, respectively. The highest crop yield reduction in the study area occurred mainly in 2000, 2008, and 2012 due to low precipitation rates. These results reveal the capability of the VCI for drought characteristics and highlighting relationships with some ecological variables, which provide vital information to the decision-makers, environmental, and economic sectors.


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How to Cite

Drought Spatiotemporal Characteristics Based on a Vegetation Condition Index in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. (2021). Iraqi Journal of Science, 62(11), 4545-4556. https://doi.org/10.24996/ijs.2021.62.11(SI).34

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