Remote Sensing-based Drought and Agricultural Risk Products for Mexico

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 4:00 PM
Room C209 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Enrique R. Vivoni, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and G. Mascaro

Droughts and their hydrological consequences are a major threat to agricultural activities throughout the world. In arid and semiarid regions of Mexico, prolonged droughts lead to significant and recurring economic and social losses. In this contribution, we present applications of a multi-resolution water stress index (WSI) to Mexico. This product is derived from the application of the trapezoidal method using MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations of land surface temperature (LST) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in combination with Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) reanalyses of air temperature over 2002-2013. The WSI products, including absolute values and climatological anomalies, were validated in Mexican ecosystems using a set of vegetation health indices and the standard precipitation index (SPI), in addition to limited comparisons to an available network of eddy covariance measurements in Mexico (MEXFLUX). Since our main objective is to provide an accessible and visually-compelling drought monitor for stakeholders and decision-makers in Mexico, we incorporated other relevant geospatial data into the analysis, including irrigation areas, crop yields, reservoir location, and administrative units. We also present a set of spatiotemporal drought analyses and the statistical characterization of drought over Mexico over the study period (2002-2013) focusing additional effort on the exceptional drought of 2011.