IWA Publishing

Agricultural biomass monitoring on watersheds based on remotely sensed data


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There is a close quality relationship between the harmful levels of all three drought indicator groups (meteorological, hydrological and agricultural). However, the numerical scale of the relationships between them is unclear and the conversion of indicators is unsolved. Different areas or an area with different forms of drought cannot be compared. For example, from the evaluation of meteorological drought using the standardized precipitation index (SPI) values of a river basin, it cannot be stated how many tonnes of maize will be lost during a given drought period. A reliable estimated rate of yield loss would be very important information for the planned interventions (i.e. by farmers or river basin management organisations) in terms of time and cost. The aim of our research project was to develop a process which could provide information for estimating relevant drought indexes and drought related yield losses more effectively from remotely sensed spectral data and to determine the congruency of data derived from spectral data and from field measurements. The paper discusses a new calculation method, which provides early information on physical implementation of drought risk levels. The elaborated method provides improvement in setting up a complex drought monitoring system, which could assist hydrologists, meteorologists and farmers to predict and more precisely quantify the yield loss and the role of vegetation in the hydrological cycle. The results also allow the conversion of different-purpose drought indices, such as meteorological, agricultural and hydrological ones, as well as allow more water-saving agricultural land use alternatives to be planned in the river basins.

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