GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS OF NEAR-SURFACE SOIL MOISTURE TIME SERIES DATA OVER INDIAN REGION
Keywords: Geographic Information System (GIS) , Soil Moisture, Active and passive microwave remote sensing, Drought, Rainfall, Long term trend
Abstract. The present study has developed the time series database surface soil moisture over India, for June, July and August months for the period of 20 years from 1991 to 2010, using data products generated under Climate Change Initiative Programme of European Space Agency. These three months represent the crop sowing period in the prime cropping season in the country and the soil moisture data during this period is highly useful to detect the drought conditions and assess the drought impact. The time series soil moisture data which is in 0.25 degree spatial resolution was analyzed to generate different indicators. Rainfall data of same spatial resolution for the same period, generated by India Meteorological Department was also procured and analyzed. Geospatial analysis of soil moisture and rainfall derived indicators was carried out to study (1) inter annual variability of soil moisture and rainfall, (2) soil moisture deviations from normal during prominent drought years, (3) soil moisture and rainfall correlations and (4) drought exposure based on soil moisture and rainfall variability. The study has successfully demonstrated the potential of these soil moisture time series data sets for generating regional drought surveillance information products, drought hazard mapping, drought exposure analysis and detection of drought sensitive areas in the crop planting period.