SATELLITE BASED DROUGHT ASSESSMENT OVER LATUR, INDIA USING SOIL MOISTURE DERIVED FROM SMOS
Climatological variables such as rainfall, temperature have been extensively used by researchers for drought monitoring at a larger spatial region. These variables have a direct influence on the soil moisture which in turn extends the application of soil moisture in drought assessment. With the advancement of technology, various satellites provide soil moisture data at different spatio-temporal resolutions. In this article, soil moisture obtained from Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) is used to analyze the drought condition over Latur district in Maharashtra, India. The monthly soil moisture derived by averaging the daily data for the years 2010 to 2015 is compared with two drought indices, i.e. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) calculated for years 2010 to 2015 and Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) calculated for years 2010 to 2013. Even though the overall correlation among the indices with the soil moisture is not significant, the seasonal (summer) correlation is significant. From the results, it is identified that SMOS derived soil moisture can be used as a potential parameter in drought assessment.