Since 1998, a period of historic drought has affected the Levant region. Due to decreased precipitation, drought can negatively impact vegetation health and density, potentially resulting in land degradation and desertification. Jordan is a semi-arid to arid country in the region that is one of the most water-scarce nations in the world, making it vulnerable to decreased vegetative cover and desertification as a result of prolonged drought. This study utilized remote sensing to quantify vegetative cover in the northwest region of Jordan from 1998 to 2017 through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) employed on Landsat imagery. The study site was divided into six sub-regions based on vegetation type, and trends within the mean NDVI of the overall study region and each sub-region over time were determined for the wet and dry seasons in Jordan. Correlations between mean NDVI and annual average precipitation were found as well. Wet season NDVI was significantly correlated with precipitation in six of the seven study regions while the dry season was not significantly correlated in any region. As such, drought could only conclusively influence wet season vegetation cover. There were no significant downward trends over time in wet season mean NDVI for any region, however, signifying that the drought has not caused land degradation in Jordan as of March of 2017.


Alley, Karen




Drought, Jordan, Desertification, NDVI, Landsat

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Amineh B. AlBashaireh