Remotely Sensed Spatiotemporal Features of Agrometeorological Drought

  • N. R. Dalezios
  • A. Blanta
  • N. Spyropoulos
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Atmospheric Sciences book series (SPRINGERATMO)


The growing number and efficiency of earth observation satellite systems, along with the increasing reliability of remote sensing methodologies, provide a range of new capabilities in monitoring and assessing drought. For the quantitative assessment of agrometeorological or agricultural drought as well as the computation of spatiotemporal features, one of the most reliable and widely used indices is applied, namely the Vegetation Health Index (VHI). The computation of VHI is based on satellite data of temperature and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The spatiotemporal features of drought, which are extracted from VHI are: areal extent, onset and end time, duration and severity. In this paper, a 20-year (1981–2001) time series of NOAA/AVHRR satellite data is used, where monthly images of VHI are extracted. Application is implemented in Thessaly, which is the major agricultural region of Greece characterized by vulnerable and drought-prone agriculture. The results show that there are episodes of mild to moderate, as well as severe to extreme droughts, respectively. Also, there is an increase in the areal extent of each drought episode with peaks appearing usually during the summer. Finally, the areas with diachronic drought persistence can be located.


Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Brightness Temperature Areal Extent Agricultural Drought Drought Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was funded by Pleiades, Smart and Hydrosense EC projects. The conventional meteorological data was provided by the National Meteorological Service of Greece. The precipitation maps were provided by the Joint Research Center (JRC) of EC, Ispra, Italy. The satellite data was provided by NOAA.


  1. Bhuiyan C, Singh RP, Kogan FN (2006) Monitoring drought dynamics in the Aravalli region (India) using different indices based on ground and remote sensing data. Int J Appl Earth Obs 8:289–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dalezios NR, Blanta A, Spyropoulos N, Pismichos N, Boukouvala E (2011) Spatiotemporal classification of drought severity. In: Proceedings of the international conference on ICT in agriculture HAICTA 2011, Skiathos, 14–17 Sep 2011Google Scholar
  3. Domenikiotis C, Spiliotopoulos M, Tsiros E, Dalezios NR (2002) Application of NOAA/AVHRR VCI for drought monitoring in Thessaly. In: Proceedings of 6th international conference of protection and restoration of the environment, Skiathos, Greece, pp 1663–1670Google Scholar
  4. Heim RR Jr (2002) A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 83:1149–1165Google Scholar
  5. Kanellou E, Domenikiotis C, Tsiros E, Dalezios NR (2008) Satellite-based drought estimation in Thessaly. Eur Water 23(24):111–122Google Scholar
  6. Keyantash J, Dracup JA (2002) The quantification of drought: an analysis of drought indices. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 88:1167–1180Google Scholar
  7. Kogan FN (2001) Operational space technology for global vegetation assessment. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 82:1949–1964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Loukas A, Vasiliades L, Dalezios NR (2002) Hydroclimatic variability of regional droughts in Greece using the Palmer Moisture Anomaly Index. Nord Hydrol 33:425–442Google Scholar
  9. Steven MD, Jaggard KW (1995) Advances in crop monitoring by remote sensing. In: Danson FM, Plummer SE (eds) Advances in environmental remote sensing. Wiley, Chichester, pp 143–156Google Scholar
  10. Thenkabail PS, Gamage MSDN, Smakhtin VU (2004) The use of remote sensing data for drought assessment and monitoring in southwest Asia. Research report, vol 85. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, pp 1–25Google Scholar
  11. Tsiros E, Domenikiotis C, Spiliotopoulos M, Dalezios NR (2004) Use of NOAA/AVHRR-based vegetation condition index (VCI) and temperature condition index (TCI) for drought monitoring in Thessaly, Greece. In: EWRA symposium on water resources management, Izmir, Turkey, 2–4 Sep 2004, pp 769–782Google Scholar
  12. Tsiros E, Domenikiotis C, Kanellou E, Dalezios NR, Tzortzios S (2008) Identification of water limited growth environment zones using NOAA/AVHRR data. In: 4th international conference on information and communication technologies in bio and earth sciences HAICTA 2008, Athens, Greece, 18–20 Sep 2008, pp 150–155Google Scholar
  13. Tsiros E, Domenikiotis C, Dalezios NR (2009) Sustainable production zoning for agroclimatic classification using GIS and remote sensing. IDŐJÁRÁS 113:55–68Google Scholar
  14. Yassoglou N (2004) Soil map of Greece. National Committee against Desertification, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, GreeceGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Agrometeorology, School of Agriculture SciencesUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.Institute ITEMA/CERETETH, Technology Park of ThessalyVolosGreece
  3. 3.Department of Natural Resource Development and Agricultural EngineeringAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations