Flash drought evaluation using evaporative stress and evaporative demand drought indices: a case study from Awash River Basin (ARB), Ethiopia

Yitea Seneshaw Getahun, Ming Hsu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drought is one of the most devastating phenomena that affect the livelihood of most communities in Ethiopia as they have low adaptive capacity. Recent advancements in remote sensing and drought investigations have made it possible to identify a new type of flash drought that has rapid intensification with a short duration (i.e., less than 1 month unlike conventional droughts). This study intends to identify flash drought in the Awash River Basin (ARB) based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data of actual evapotranspiration and potential evapotranspiration using Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) and Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) indices. The flash drought result exhibited that agricultural lands, grasslands, vegetation areas, and irrigational croplands along the river were vulnerable to flash drought in the ARB. Using ESI, the area of ARB that experienced flash drought in 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2015 were 23%, 40%, 20%, 40%, and 24%, respectively. These intense flash drought areas can be used as drought monitoring sites. The flash drought extent of EDDI is more compared to ESI because of ESI’s dependency on vegetation coverages and soil moisture. The lowland downstream part of the ARB is highly prone to flash drought, particularly in the major rainy season (MRS) and the last two months of the minor rainy season (mRS). EDDI can discern the onset of flash drought better compared to ESI, but both can be used as a drought early warning mechanisms to minimize agricultural losses and drought-associated risks in the basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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