Improving remote sensing based agricultural drought characterization in Saurashtra, Gujarat : A region-specific threshold approach


  • PARTHSARTHI A. PANDYA Junagadh Agricultural University
  • NARENDRA KUMAR GONTIA Junagadh Agricultural University



Agricultural Drought, NDVI, Vegetation Condition Index, Landsat, Cotton, Groundnut


Remote sensing technology has demonstrated its significant utility in the monitoring and mapping of agricultural drought on a global scale. This study focused on the assessment of agricultural drought in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, India, utilizing a comprehensive dataset spanning 33 years from Landsat and Sentinel satellites. It employed various vegetation indices, including NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Anomaly Index (NAI), Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) and NDWI Anomaly index (NDWIA), to gauge drought conditions. The performance of these indices was evaluated through the generation of drought severity maps and their correlation analysis with major Kharif crops in the region, specifically cotton and groundnut. The analysis pinpointed major agricultural drought years, such as 1986, 1987, 1991, 2000, 2002 and 2012, which corresponded to substantial crop yield losses ranging from 37% to 76% for cotton and 66% to 95% for groundnut, varying by district. Despite VCI demonstrating equivalent or superior correlations with crop yields (ranging from 0.32 to 0.73 for cotton and 0.33 to 0.75 for groundnut) compared to NAI in various districts, it tended to underestimate drought severities, designating only 2 to 9 drought years for different districts. Consequently, this study recommends revised VCI drought severity thresholds, which enhance the categorization of agricultural drought in terms of severity levels and corresponding yield losses for cotton and groundnut in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Furthermore, it underscores the need to establish region-specific drought severity thresholds by identifying the most suitable vegetation index for effective quantification of agricultural drought, thereby facilitating informed drought mitigation measures.




How to Cite

P. A. . PANDYA and N. K. . GONTIA, “Improving remote sensing based agricultural drought characterization in Saurashtra, Gujarat : A region-specific threshold approach”, MAUSAM, vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 381–394, Apr. 2024.



Research Papers