15th Conf on Biometeorology and Aerobiology and the 16th International Congress of Biometeorology

Tuesday, 29 October 2002: 2:00 PM
Integrating Satellite and Climate Data for US Drought Mapping and Monitoring: First Steps
Jesslyn F. Brown, USGS/EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD; and T. Tadesse and B. C. Reed
Poster PDF (140.6 kB)
Although droughts are normal, recurring climate phenomena, they challenge our current ability to plan, predict, monitor, and provide relief to drought stricken areas. Because of the spatial and temporal variability of droughts, we need to improve the tools available to map and monitor them on many scales from local to national. A team of researchers from the US Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center, the National Drought Mitigation Center, and the High Plains Regional Climate Center are developing a prototype system for regional-scale drought monitoring for the conterminous US. Currently, for the first year of the project, the team is developing methods to integrate satellite data and traditional climate data over the central US.

Satellite data collected from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor provide synoptic daily measurements of surface reflectance at a 1-km resolution. Climate stations provide an average resolution of 30-km. Previous studies have established significant relationships between AVHRR-derived vegetation indices and climate variables over non-irrigated crops and grasslands. This project will expand upon that research by investigating methods to integrate the information from climate-based drought indicators with satellite measures of vegetation performance. Although, these two information sources reflect different resolutions they should prove complementary. Climate-based drought indicators show where precipitation amounts are lower than normal, while the satellite-derived data show where vegetation growth is lower than normal. The ultimate goal is to deliver near real-time geo-referenced information (in the form of maps and data) about drought-impacted areas in the US, using the Internet as a primary delivery mechanism.

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