Nonparametric Integrated Agrometeorological Drought Monitoring: Model Development and Application Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Drought is a major natural hazard that has massive impacts on the society. How to monitor drought is critical for its mitigation and early warning. This study proposed a modified version of the multivariate standardized drought index (MSDI) based on precipitation, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture, i.e., modified multivariate standardized drought index (MMSDI). This study also used nonparametric joint probability distribution analysis. Comparisons were done between standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), standardized soil moisture index (SSMI), MSDI, and MMSDI, and real-world observed drought regimes. Results indicated that MMSDI detected droughts that SPEI and/or SSMI failed to do. Also, MMSDI detected almost all droughts that were identified by SPEI and SSMI. Further, droughts detected by MMSDI were similar to real-world observed droughts in terms of drought intensity and drought-affected area. When compared to MMSDI, MSDI has the potential to overestimate drought intensity and drought-affected area across China, which should be attributed to exclusion of the evapotranspiration components from estimation of drought intensity. Therefore, MMSDI is proposed for drought monitoring that can detect agrometeorological droughts. Results of this study provide a framework for integrated drought monitoring in other regions of the world and can help to develop drought mitigation.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Q., Li, Q., Singh, V. P., Shi, P., Huang, Q., & Sun, P.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Qiang||Li, Qin||Singh, Vijay P||Shi, Peijun||Huang, Qingzhong||Sun, Peng

publication date

  • January 2018