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The goal of the study is to develop drought-monitoring tools for the Mediterranean region. Exploiting the strength of remote sensing data, this study attempts to derive indicators which give insight into the spatial and temporal behavior of drought situations.

To this end an estimation of the energy budget has been performed for the region of Sicily in Italy, using daily meteorological data, daily remote sensing data from the NOAA-AVHRR and land cover data from the European CORINE database. A physical modeling approach has been chosen in order to describe the various processes that account for a situation of water stress, including suitable approximations at the regional scale.

The evaporative fraction (EF) is calculated, based on the available energy, the sensible heat flux and the latent heat flux. EF indicates how much of the available energy is used for evapotranspiration, which in the Mediterranean environment is closely related to the availability of water.

The results show a realistic evolution of EF and derived estimates of the rate of evapotranspiration compare well to point measurements at the surface. Documented water stress situations are well presented in their spatial and temporal evolution. The approach shows its potential for monitoring the moisture status at a regional scale. At the same time it provides spatially resolved information down to the scale of the catchment. As such it can help to analyze and understand drought processes and can form the basis of a decision making tool on scales ranging from the catchment to the regional level. evel.

Additional information

Authors: VOGT J V, JRC, Space Applications Institute, Ispra (IT);NIEMEYER S, University of Munich, Department of Geography (DE);VIAU A A, Centre de recherche en geomatique Universite Laval, Sainte-Foy, Quebec (CA)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: The 23rd Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing./ Held in: Sainte-Foy, Quebec (CA), 21-24 August 2001
Record Number: 200114070 / Last updated on: 2001-11-23
Original language: en
Available languages: en