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Unveiling the Green Veil: NDVI Analysis of Bannerghatta National Park

Updated: Apr 24


In the quest to understand the pulse of our planet's green spaces, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) serves as a critical indicator. This satellite-derived data paints a picture of plant health, allowing us to peer into the dynamics of ecosystems from a bird's-eye view. In this blog, we delve into the NDVI analysis of Bannerghatta National Park, a biodiversity hotspot nestled near Bangalore, India. By encompassing an additional 5km buffer area as our Area of Interest, we broaden our scope to capture the interplay between the protected area and its surrounding landscape.

The Satellite Sentinel: Landsat 8 at a Glance

Harnessing the observational might of the Landsat 8 satellite, courtesy of Google Earth Engine's extensive geospatial data repository, our analysis spanned from 2015 to 2021. With its reliable data streams and robust cloud masking capabilities, Landsat 8 provided the clarity needed to track vegetation changes over time.

Methodology: A Digital Green Thumb

Our analytical journey began with cloud masking, using the cloudMaskL8 function to filter out the ephemeral white noise of clouds. Subsequently, the addNDVI function wove the spectral bands of red and near-infrared light into the NDVI fabric, revealing the vigor of vegetation.

We painted our digital canvas with colors representing different land cover classes, translating the numerical NDVI signals into visual hues. With the stage set, we embarked on a temporal odyssey, charting the ebb and flow of the park's greenery through annual snapshots.

NDVI Graph

Results: A Time-Lapse of Nature

The NDVI over time chart unveiled a rhythmic dance of vegetation dynamics, with the peaks and valleys of plant health tracing the contours of time. The zenith of vegetative vigor was marked at an NDVI of 0.4345, while the nadir delved to -0.1783, painting a story of seasonal shifts and ecological resilience.

A closer look at the annual land cover percentages unraveled a narrative of change:
  • In 2015, the park's canvas was a mosaic predominantly of Herbaceous / Cropland, with Dense Forest holding its ground at 2.40%.

  • The following year, Barren / Sparse Vegetation expanded dramatically to 24.29%, hinting at possible land use changes.

  • By 2017, Grassland / Shrub took center stage, comprising nearly half of the landscape.

  • The 2018 snapshot saw a return of green with Herbaceous / Cropland flourishing at 55.65%.

  • In the years shadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we observed a telling uptick in NDVI values, suggesting a nature rebound as human activities slowed.

Discussion: Reading Between the Green Lines

The shifting sands of NDVI values across Bannerghatta narrate a tale of nature's response to human stewardship and natural cycles. The pandemic's impact, visible in the greening trend during lockdown periods, offers a glimpse into the resilience and rapid response of ecosystems to reduced human pressure.

Conclusion: The Future Through a Green Lens

The findings from this satellite saga underscore the power of NDVI and remote sensing as indispensable tools in the conservationist's toolkit. As we stand on the threshold of an era where data informs dialogue, the insights gleaned from Bannerghatta National Park serve as a beacon, guiding sustainable interactions with our treasured natural realms.

As we continue to monitor and marvel at the Earth's verdant veneer, let us remember that each pixel of data represents a patch of life, pulsating to the rhythm of our shared planet.

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