Drought analysis in southern region of Tamil Nadu using meteorological and remote sensing indices
Keywords:Drought, SPI, NDVI, NDWI, Tamil Nadu
Drought is a natural phenomenon caused due to inadequate rainfall over a region as compared to the expected amount, which when sustained over an extended period of time, eventually leads to shortage of water to sustain various human activities. One-month SPI showed that the southern zone is highly prone to moderate drought conditions. The seasonal analysis of SPI showed that the region faced more drought instances during the South West Monsoon compared with North East Monsoon season. Thoothukudi, Dindigul, Pudukkottai and Virudhunagar showed the high occurrences of drought at seasonal and annual scale. The weekly MAI calculated indicated a risk in the rainfed cropping season. Tirunelveli and Tenkasi showed highly vulnerable to moderate drought. NDVI during the NEM 2016, 2017 and 2018 showed that more than 80 per cent of the total area in the southern districts was under drought stress. NDVI analysis showed that Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai, Sivagangai and Virudhunagar districts are highly vulnerable to drought. NDWI analysis during the NEM 2016, 2017 and 2018 showed high drought stresses with more than 90 per cent of the area showing drought stress during these three years. NDVI and NDWI analysis showed that the Southern Zone of Tamil Nadu was most vulnerable to Moderate and Severe droughts. The comparison of NDVI and NDWI and 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-month SPI showed that the three indices are fairly accurate with each other and hence are useful in the analysis of drought. However, just a single drought index cannot clearly define accurately the spatial and temporal extent of drought. Thus, a combination of meteorological and remote sensing indices gave a detailed idea about the spatio-temporal extent of drought.
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