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Identification of drought-vulnerable areas using NOAA AVHRR data

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Drought is a recurring phenomenon in many parts of India, bringing significant water shortages, economic losses and adverse social consequences. The western regions of India (Rajasthan and Gujarat provinces) have suffered with severe droughts several times in the past. In this study meteorological and satellite data were used for monitoring drought in the southern part of Rajasthan. Monthly rainfall data from six stations were used to derive the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) series of satellite was used for calculating brightness temperature (BT), the Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) and the Water Supplying Vegetation Index (WSVI). BT was converted to the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) and the Temperature Condition Index (TCI), which are useful indices for the estimation of vegetation health and drought monitoring. The analysis was carried out for a period of four years (2002-2005) and from the SPI analysis it was observed that 2002 was a drought year. On the basis of the satellite-based indices, the study area was divided into categories of extreme, severe, moderate and slight drought and normal condition. We found that in 2002 all of the area under study was affected by drought with greater intensity, mostly classed as extreme and severe drought conditions. An analysis was carried out of the study area divided into four zones on the basis of rainfall distribution, soil characteristics, cropping patterns and other physical characteristics. This analysis revealed that zone 1 was the most drought-prone area in all four years; zone 4 was the next area most affected by severe drought, followed by zones 2 and 3, which were less affected by drought conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, India 2: College of Technology and Engineering, Udaipur, India 3: Department of Earth Sciences, IIT, Roorkee, India

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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