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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-135
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-135
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 29 Apr 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluation of a combined drought indicator and its predictive potential for agricultural droughts in Southern Spain

María del Pilar Jiménez-Donaire1, Ana Tarquis2,3, and Juan Vicente Giráldez1,4 María del Pilar Jiménez-Donaire et al.
  • 1Dept. of Agronomy, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, 14071, Spain
  • 2CEIGRAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, 28040, Spain
  • 3Grupo de Sistemas Complejos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, 28040, Spain
  • 4Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, CSIC, Córdoba, 14071, Spain

Abstract. Drought prediction is critical, especially where rainfall regime is irregular, such as in Mediterranean countries. A new combined drought indicator (CDI) is proposed that integrates rainfall, soil moisture and vegetation dynamics. Standardized precipitation index (SPI) is used for evaluating rainfall trends. A bucket-type soil moisture model is used to keep track of soil moisture and calculate anomalies, and, finally, satellite-based NDVI data is used for monitoring vegetation response. The proposed CDI has four levels, in increasing amount of severity: watch, alert, warning type I and II. This CDI was then applied over the period 2003–2013 to five study sites, representative for the main grain-growing areas of SW Spain. The performance of the CDI levels was assessed by comparison against observed data on crop damage. Observations show a good match between crop damage and CDI. Important crop drought events in 2004–2005 and 2011–2012, marked by crop damage between 70 and 95 % of the total insured area, were correctly predicted by the proposed CDI in all five areas.

María del Pilar Jiménez-Donaire et al.
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María del Pilar Jiménez-Donaire et al.
María del Pilar Jiménez-Donaire et al.
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Short summary
A new combined drought indicator (CDI) is proposed that integrates rainfall, soil moisture and vegetation dynamics. The performance of this indicator was evaluated against crop damage data from agricultural insurance schemes in 5 different areas in SW Spain. Results show that this indicator was able to predict important droughts in 2004–2005 and 2011–2012, marked by crop damage of between 70 and 95 % of the total insured area. This opens important applications for improving insurance schemes.
A new combined drought indicator (CDI) is proposed that integrates rainfall, soil moisture and...
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