This page feature a few example of vegetation dynamics observed in the time series graphics. Examples based on the NRT component will be generated along the next phenelogical cycle in 2002.

Storm Damage

In this example, you can observe a strong degradation in the high resolution NDVI in summer 2021. This storm damage happened next to the old town of St-Ursanne (Jura) in summer 2021. In this case, the VHI generated based on the time series would not show a strong change in VHI, as the damage is very local. It would be however shown in the near-real time raw VHI map, available in the 'map' page. The very rough hilly landscape can be at the origin of local turbulence during the storm, creating strong wind in the form of wind eddies, leading to the very local impact of the storm.

Map of St-ursanne storm damage location NDVI graph for storm damage Picture of storm damage Picture of storm damage

Recovery after forest fire

In summer 2003, a forest fire burnt 300 hectares above the town of Leuk (Wallis). Since then, the area is recovering from the damage. In the VHI map, we can observe that the vegetation health is not yet back to the previous state. This is also observable visually over a recent acquisition of orthoimage by the Federal office of Topography, Swisstopo.

Map of the leuk forest fire location VHI for leuk area Orthoimage for leuk area

Impact of droughts

Since a few years, the summer droughts are becoming more intense in Switzerland. Their impacts are particularly visible in the Jura, located in the North-West of the country. The example here below is located next to the village of Berneuvesin. Some articles in the mainstream media have been published on the topic. In the VHI dataset, we can see a quite abrupt shift in the later years, particularly in 2018 and 2019, which coincide well with observations made on the field.

Map of the berneuvesin area Orthoimage for berneuvesin area VHI for berneuvesin area

Forest expansion in Alpine area

Riedgletscher - Pionner vegetation

This example shows the growing of pionner vegetation in the glacier moraine of the Riedgletscher, next to Visp. The location was also on chosen by the group AREA of the swiss Federal Statistical Office has a point of interest for landscape evolution. The image depicting the landscape evolution comes directly from this dataset.
We can see in the VHI graphic that the NDVI values are still relatively low. This fits the reality on the ground as the pionner vegetation is still very sparse in the recent years. Although the NDVI stays at a relatively low level, we can observe the improvement of the VHI along the years.

Aletsch Gletscher - Forest Expansion

This example depicts the growing of forest in high altitude, below the Aletsch glacier, in the region of Brig. Contrary to the previous example, the vegetation in this area is not at the pionnier state. Since the area seems well established since few decades, the growing of the forest is certainly driven by the raise of the temperatures available at these altitudes. Here as well, we link to the description of the location an image depicting the landscape evolution from the AREA group of the Federal Statistical Office.