Smap L4 Assessment of the Us Northern Plains 2017 Flash Drought

J. S. Kimball, L. Jones, K. Jensco, M. He, M. Maneta, R. Reichle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

A rapidly developing "flash drought" occurred over the US Northern Plains in the summer of 2017, spurred by unusually high temperatures and strong evaporative demand. The impacts of the drought included widespread reductions in rangeland and agricultural productivity that cascaded into significant economic losses. Here, we used satellite information from the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to clarify the nature and impact of the drought on regional vegetation growth. The model enhanced SMAP Level 4 Soil Moisture (L4SM) and Carbon (L4C) products were used with other ancillary data to examine spatial and seasonal anomalies in surface to root zone soil moisture and vegetation productivity (GPP). We find that the flash drought was triggered by a mid-July heat wave, conditioned by exceptionally low spring rainfall. The drought resulted in anomalous low soil moisture levels and regional GPP collapse, coinciding with severe (D3) to exceptional (D4) drought conditions indicated from the US Drought Monitor. The SMAP L4C GPP anomalies closely tracked reported county-level crop production anomalies for the major regional crop types, indicating generally larger productivity decline in managed croplands than surrounding natural areas. The SMAP L4 global products provide an effective indicator of vegetation growth changes and moisture-related restrictions on ecosystem productivity that are complementary with more traditional drought assessment tools.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages5366-5369
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538691540
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event39th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: Jul 28 2019Aug 2 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)

Conference

Conference39th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2019
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityYokohama
Period07/28/1908/2/19

Keywords

  • drought
  • GPP
  • productivity
  • SMAP
  • soil moisture

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Smap L4 Assessment of the Us Northern Plains 2017 Flash Drought'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this