Evaluation of Agricultural Drought Characteristics in Iran's Central Plateau Catchment using GRACE Satellite

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University (SBU), Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University (SBU), Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Surveying Department, University of Zanjan (ZNU), Zanjan, Iran


Determining the onset, severity and duration of drought provides vital information for managing water resources to decision makers. The computation of these parameters requires integrated data on soil moisture content and groundwater level. The installation and utilization of a regular network system for recording these data in massive water basins is very costly. In the central plateau catchment of Iran where the average rainfall is very small, the required observational data with suitable spatial distribution are not available. In this paper, the frequency, duration and severity of agricultural droughts in this catchment are determined by the Total Storage Deficit Index (TSDI) obtained from the GRACE satellite based-data. Then, due to the heterogeneous distribution of meteorological stations in the studied area, 142 stations were selected and the MicroMet interpolation model and Kriging geostatistical method were used to fit a homogenous network on the meteorological data at the catchment area. Finally, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was calculated with timescales of 3, 6 and 12 months to be compared with the results of TSDI. Based on these calculations, the studied area has experienced several agricultural droughts with different severity and extent that the spatio-temporal distribution and drought severity obtained from both indices are in good agreement with each other.


Main Subjects

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