Vol. 10 No. 3-4 (2016)

Specific features of NDVI, NDWI and MNDWI as reflected in land cover categories

Published September 15, 2016
Szilárd Szabó
Zoltán Gácsi
Boglárka Balázs


Szabó, S., Gácsi, Z., & Balázs, B. (2016). Specific features of NDVI, NDWI and MNDWI as reflected in land cover categories. Landscape & Environment, 10(3-4), 194–202. https://doi.org/10.21120/LE/10/3-4/13

The remote sensing techniques provide a great possibility to analyze the environmental processes in
local or global scale. Landsat images with their 30 m resolution are suitable among others for land
cover mapping and change monitoring. In this study three spectral indices (NDVI, NDWI, MNDWI) were
investigated from the aspect of land cover types: water body (W); plough land (PL); forest (F); vineyard
(V); grassland (GL) and built-up areas (BU) using Landsat-7 ETM+ data. The range, the dissimilarities
and the correlation of spectral indices were examined. In BU – GL – F categories similar NDVI values
were calculated, but the other land cover types differed significantly. The water related indices (NDWI,
MNDWI) were more effective (especially the MNDWI) to enhance water features, but the values of other
categories ranged from narrower interval. Weak correlation were found among the indices due to the
differences caused by the water land cover class. Statistically, most land cover types differed from each
other, but in several cases similarities can be found when delineating vegetation with various water
content. MNDWI was found as the most effective in highlighting water bodies.


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