Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Monitoring of hydrological resources in the Mediterranean area

A project has been initiated to establish a regional network and to develop a methodology for the real time monitoring of the hydrological resources in the mediterranean area of the European Community. The methodology which has been adopted is based on the combined use of agrometeorological models and remote sensing data for the monitoring of the vegetation development and the water balance in the soil: the project runs agrometeorological models based on the input of data from a large meteorological data base, a soils data base and a digital terrain model of the region under study. The meteorological data base is being updated on a daily basis. In addition, daily data are processed into a mosaic covering the entire region of study. The data are calibrated, atmospherically and geometrically corrected according to the most up to date algorithms. Finally several derived parameters, like the surface temperature and vegetation indices are used to monitor the environmental conditions. Establishment of the network and the collection of additional data has been completed. In addition, the agrometeorological and satellite processing chains have established in order to provide first products which allow for a qualitative monitoring of the hydrological situation. Since April 1993 the project has edited a monthly bulletin giving information on the hydrological status throughout the region as well as on the development of the agricultural season. The bulletin contains maps of several meteorological parameters, such as temperature, rainfall, evapotranspiration and climatological water balance as well as maps on the current status of the main agricultural crops. The comparison of the model outputs with the actual situation, as reported by the regional teams involved in the project, has shown that the agrometeorological as well as the remote sensing tools are able to provide qualitative monitoring of the seasonal development and to pick up adverse developments at an early stage.

Reported by

Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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