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Drought monitoring in Maharashtra using multi-sensor earth observation data

Student name: Mr Akshar Tyagi
Guide: Dr Neeti
Year of completion: 2021
Host Organisation: Regional Remote Sensing Centre (RRSC)- North
Supervisor (Host Organisation): Dr V.M. Chowdary

Drought which is considered as one of the natural disasters that has harmed more people than any other. It causes several problems like a decrease in water level, unemployment, and a decrease in crop production thus it is important to increase our knowledge about the phenomenon of drought and monitor it closely. This study aims at monitoring the drought in Maharashtra, India by using LST and Precipitation data derived from remote sensing satellite data for the study period of 2001 to 2017. SPEI and SPI were computed at 12-month, 3-month, 1-month, and 6- month timescale. SPI uses precipitation as a single variable whereas the newly formed SPEI uses a water balance equation which is obtained by using potential evapotranspiration and precipitation. The result of comparison of SPEI and SPI shows that both the index has a high substantially significant relationship in a positive direction (r>0.5) for most of the region of the study area. SPEI was able to recognize more drought than SPI under the moderate and severe class with the magnitude of frequency but on the other side, SPI was able to recognize more extreme drought in the study area with higher frequency than in SPEI in pre-monsoon and monsoon period but in post-monsoon SPI has higher frequency than SPEI in moderate, severe and extreme drought. The result of this study emphasizes that variability of temperature is critical in the assessment of drought though both the indices were able to identify drought in different severity classes SPEI might have some advantage as it considers the effect of potential evapotranspiration.