North american land data assimilation system: A framework for merging model and satellite data for improved drought monitoring

Justin Sheffield, Youlong Xia, Lifeng Luo, Eric F. Wood, Michael Ek, Kenneth E. Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Drought is a pervasive natural climate hazard that has widespread impacts on human activity and the environment. In the United States, droughts are billion-dollar disasters, comparable to hurricanes and tropical storms and with greater economic impacts than extratropical storms, wildfires, blizzards, and ice storms combined (NCDC, 2009). Reduction of the impacts and increased preparedness for drought requires the use and improvement of monitoring and prediction tools. These tools are reliant on the availability of spatially extensive and accurate data for representing the occurrence and characteristics (such as duration and severity) of drought and their related forcing mechanisms. It is increasingly recognized that the utility of drought data is highly dependent on the application (e.g., agricultural monitoring versus water resource management) and time (e.g., short- versus long-term dryness) and space (e.g., local versus national) scales involved. A comprehensive set of drought indices that considers all components of the hydrological-ecological-human system is necessary. Because of the dearth of near-real-time in situ hydrologic data collected over large regions, modeled data are often useful surrogates, especially when combined with observations from remote sensing and in situ sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing of Drought
Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Monitoring Approaches
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781439835609
ISBN (Print)9781439835579
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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