Title: Assessing Drought Probability for Agricultural Areas in Africa with Coarse Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery
Authors: ROJAS O.REMBOLD FelixVrieling A.
Citation: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT vol. 115 no. 2 p. 343-352
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC60604
ISSN: 0034-4257
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC60604
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2010.09.006
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Drought is one of the most frequent climate-related disasters occurring across large portions of the African continent, often with devastating consequences for the food security of agricultural households. This study proposes a novel method for calculating the empirical probability of having a significant proportion of the total agricultural area affected by drought at sub-national level. First, we used the per-pixel Vegetation Health Index (VHI) averaged over the crop season, where a phenological model based on NDVI was employed for defining the start of season (SOS) and end of the grain filling stage (GFS) dates. Second, the per pixel average VHI was aggregated for agricultural areas at sub-national level in order to obtain a drought intensity indicator. Seasonal VHI averaging according to the phenological model proved to be a valid drought indicator for the African continent, and is highly correlated with the drought events recorded during the period (1981-2009). The final results express the empirical probability of drought occurrence over both the temporal and the spatial domain, representing a promising tool for future drought monitoring.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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