Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Remote Sensing of Drought: Innovative Monitoring Approaches, edited by Brian D. Wardlow, Martha C. Anderson, & James P. Verdin (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2012), pp xiii–xxii.


Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


The motivation for this book on satellite remote sensing of drought stems from the increasing demand for drought-related information to address a wide range of societal issues (e.g., water scarcity, food security, and economic sustainability), the availability of unique Earth observations from many new satellite- based remote sensing instruments, and the advancement of analysis and modeling techniques. Collectively, the convergence of these factors has resulted in unprecedented new satellite-based estimates of evapotranspiration, rainfall, snow cover, subsurface moisture, and vegetation condition over large geographic areas that can support drought-monitoring activities. To date, a book solely dedicated to the topic of satellite remote sensing applications for drought monitoring has been lacking. The goal of this book is to provide a survey of many new, innovative remote sensing approaches that are either being applied or have the potential to be applied for operational drought monitoring and early warning. The book is by no means a comprehensive summary of all remote sensing–based methods that currently exist, but rather describes a representative set of the leading techniques that characterize major components of the hydrologic cycle related to drought.