Use of Evaporative Stress Index for Assessing Drought
Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Project Number: 1245-13610-028-53
Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Apr 01, 2013
End Date: Mar 31, 2018
ARS and the Cooperator are interested in studying the utility of the satellite-derived Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) for identifying drought-prone areas, with potential applications in crop insurance. The ESI identifies areas of anomalous crop water use in agricultural areas, and can provide early warning of declining vegetation health as reflected in reduced transpiration rates. Retrospective maps of ESI may provide useful information about drought-prone regions and statistical connectivity between other regional indicators, which may be of value within the crop insurance industry.
The project will be managed jointly between ARS and the Cooperator. The Cooperator will evaluate the relationship between Pacific sea surface temperatures and drought development using gridded ESI data products. The Cooperator will also conduct basic clustering analyses to assess regional drought patterns to improve risk diversification. ARS will provide retrospective ESI datasets to the Cooperator and will assist in interpretation of results.