EVALUATION OF THE SOIL MOISTURE AGRICULTURAL DROUGHT INDEX (SMADI) AND PRECIPITATION-BASED DROUGHT INDICES IN ARGENTINA
Keywords: soil moisture, precipitation, agricultural drought, SMOS, SMADI, SPI, SPEI
Abstract. Agricultural drought is one of the most critical hazards with regard to intensity, severity, frequency, spatial extension and impact on livelihoods. This is especially true for Argentina, where agricultural exports can represent up to 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), and where drought events for 2018 led to a decrease of nearly 0.5% of GDP. In this work, we investigate the applicability of the Soil Moisture Agricultural Drought Index (SMADI) for detection of droughts in Argentina, and compare its performance with the use of two well-known precipitation-based indices: the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation- Evaporation Index (SPEI). SMADI includes satellite-based information of soil moisture, surface temperature and vegetation greenness, and was designed to capture the hydric stress on the soil-vegetation ensemble. Results indicate that SMADI has greater capabilities for agricultural drought detection than SPI and SPEI: it was able to recognize more than 83% of the registered emergencies, correctly classifying 75% of them as extreme droughts, and outperforming SPI and SPEI in all the analyzed metrics.