Detection of Changes in Terrestrial Ecosystems of Ukraine Using Remote Sensing Data

Keywords: remote sensing data, desertification, water detection, climate change, soil moisture, water index


In recent years, Ukraine has been affected by climate change. This has led to frequent extreme weather events (heavy / high rains, floods, droughts, squalls). As a result of droughts, desertification is one of the most dangerous and transient consequences of modern climate change. The research is devoted to the diagnostic assessment of the modern climate of Ukraine. Remote sensing data and instrumental observations of 30 weather stations of Ukraine were used. Temperature increase was registered in the study area by all stations, which significantly affected the level of precipitation. At the moment there is not enough moisture for the Earth’s surface. Precipitation in Ukraine is currently characterized by an uneven distribution. It leads to accelerated processes of soil degradation and it’s fertility loss. The aim of the study was to identify areas prone to desertification using satellite imagery and meteorological observations. Over the past 17 years (2000-2017), the average air temperature in Ukraine has increased by 1.5 ºC. Particularly anomalous warming has been recorded in recent years, starting in 2015. During the XXI century, a slight decrease in precipitation was observed in Ukraine. Both a decrease in precipitation and an increase in temperature may lead to a decrease in soil moisture levels. According to ground meteorological data, the tendency of dryness in Ukraine was confirmed. Lack of water leads to prompt manifestation of this process. Water indexes were used to estimate the moisture content of surface soils. It is possible to assess the susceptibility of the desert area to climate change. Relevant quantitative information on water availability in Ukraine is provided. Two water indices (Normalized Difference Infrared Index NDII and Ratio Drought Index RDI) have been taken estimate the moisture content. It can be estimated from the MODIS MOD13C2 product data obtained from the MODIS satellite sensor and used for regional research. The main conclusion of this study is to determine the changes in natural terrestrial ecosystems in Ukraine. This was shown on the basis of temperature and humidity. Such trends may lead to changes in the biodiversity of the territory and loss of natural soil properties.

Author Biographies

Vadym I. Lyalko
State institution “Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth Institute of Geological Science National Academy of Ukraine”
Inna F. Romanciuc
State institution “Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth Institute of Geological Science National Academy of Ukraine”
Lesia A. Yelistratova
State institution “Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth Institute of Geological Science National Academy of Ukraine”
Aleksandr A. Apostolov
State institution “Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth Institute of Geological Science National Academy of Ukraine”
Viktor M. Chekhniy
Institute of Geography, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


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How to Cite
Lyalko, V., Romanciuc, I., Yelistratova, L., Apostolov, A., & Chekhniy, V. (2020). Detection of Changes in Terrestrial Ecosystems of Ukraine Using Remote Sensing Data. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 29(1), 102-110.