Comparison of the IASI water deficit index and other vegetation indices: the case study of the intense 2022 drought over the Po Valley

Exploiting the Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Interferometer (IASI) profiling capability for surface parameters, atmospheric temperature, and water vapour we have designed a new Water Deficit Index (wdi) to monitor drought and heatwaves. Because of climate change at a global level, drought is becoming a strong emergency also in countries which never experienced it, such as the Mediterranean mid-latitude area and, in particular, Italy. The last two years strongly affected the northern part of Italy, i.e. the Po Valley, causing high vegetation and soil water stress. Satellite data can provide a large spatial coverage (locally and globally) as well as a continuous data supply and are an important help to ground monitoring stations, especially in remote regions with dense vegetation. In this paper, we used the wdi to investigate the 2022 intense drought over the Po Valley region. We integrated the study considering both the Surface Soil Moisture (SSM) from Copernicus Sentinel-1 C-SAR and the Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) from Sentinel-2 images. We also considered the Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC), the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) and the Leaf Area Index (LAI) data from the Drought & Vegetation Data Cube (D&V Data Cube) from the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites - Satellite Application Facilities (EUMETSAT SAFs). Overall, we found that the wdi compares well to other indices related to vegetation stress and can be used as a tool for risk assessment of forest fires and agriculture productivity.
Autori IAC
Tipo pubblicazione
Altri Autori
Fabio Della Rocca, Italia De Feis, Guido Masiello, Pamela Pasquariello, Carmine Serio