AGRICULTURAL DROUGHT AND SOIL MOISTURE ANALYSIS USING SATELLITE IMAGE BASED INDICES
The deficiency in rainfall leads to meteorological droughts. Its manifestations are visible both in the vegetation cover and soil moisture. The present study assessed the characteristics of agricultural drought following meteorological droughts. The study also assessed the severity of meteorological droughts and their manifestation on the agriculture and soil moisture in a semi-arid area. The study has been carried out for the Malaprabha sub-basin which partly covers three districts of North Interior Karnataka, India. India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) criteria have been used to identify the drought years, and its severity has been assessed through the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI). The IMD’s monthly rainfall data were used to identify the drought years and periods for the region. Among the drought years, the mild, moderate, and severe drought along with deficit and excess rainfall years were considered to assess and characterize the soil moisture conditions and the agricultural drought. The satellite image based indices for these selected years were constructed to determine the soil moisture conditions and the agricultural drought severity. The Temperature-Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) was used to determine the soil moisture conditions. The indices employed to determine the agriculture drought are NDVI, Thermal Condition Index (TCI), Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), and Vegetation Health Index (VHI). These satellite-based indices were calculated using the Landsat images of the selected drought and non-drought years. The results showed that the seasonal and annual drought are frequent in the study area. There are spatial and temporal variations in the drought years and their severity. The satellite-based indices clearly indicate the spatial variation in the agriculture droughts and its intensity. It has been found that the impact of drought on agriculture has significantly reduced due to the development of well-irrigation in the sub-basin. VHI is more appropriate in determining the agricultural drought and its characteristics.