Spatiotemporal Drought Assessment Based on Gridded Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in Vulnerable Agroecosystems
In this paper, an integrated spatiotemporal drought assessment of the Thessaly region was conducted, taking advantage of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI12) for almost 30 years (1981–2020). The index was computed using monthly CHIRPS data as the main input. The results show that the region experienced two consecutive dry hydrological years (1988–1989 and 1989–1990), which can be considered moderately and extremely dry conditions, respectively. Additionally, wet conditions were observed in two cases. The first one was the hydrological year 2002–2003, considered extremely wet, whereas 2009–2010 experienced moderately wet conditions. The spatial variability of the index was mapped for both dry and wet cases, and as a result, a considerable spatial variation was found throughout the region. An intra-annual geospatial analysis was also made, indicating that drought severity was high for most of the months in the driest hydrological year. The same but reverse pattern was almost found for the wettest hydrological year.
These research results were validated by previous studies in the region and can constitute a useful tool for water management practices. Future studies will concentrate on other regions with significant agricultural importance in Greece or in the Mediterranean basin, especially in similar semi-arid climates. Additionally, the authors have already started to use future projections of extreme incidents in order to estimate drought forecasts and contribute to a more feasible water management policy.
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