Evaluating a satellite-based seasonal evapotranspiration product and identifying its relationship with other satellite-derived products and crop yield: A case study for Ethiopia

International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
By: , and 

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Abstract

Satellite-derived evapotranspiration anomalies and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) products from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are currently used for African agricultural drought monitoring and food security status assessment. In this study, a process to evaluate satellite-derived evapotranspiration (ETa) products with a geospatial statistical exploratory technique that uses NDVI, satellite-derived rainfall estimate (RFE), and crop yield data has been developed. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the ETa using the NDVI and RFE, and identify a relationship between the ETa and Ethiopia’s cereal crop (i.e., teff, sorghum, corn/maize, barley, and wheat) yields during the main rainy season. Since crop production is one of the main factors affecting food security, the evaluation of remote sensing-based seasonal ETa was done to identify the appropriateness of this tool as a proxy for monitoring vegetation condition in drought vulnerable and food insecure areas to support decision makers. The results of this study showed that the comparison between seasonal ETa and RFE produced strong correlation (R2 > 0.99) for all 41 crop growing zones in Ethiopia. The results of the spatial regression analyses of seasonal ETa and NDVI using Ordinary Least Squares and Geographically Weighted Regression showed relatively weak yearly spatial relationships (R2 < 0.7) for all cropping zones. However, for each individual crop zones, the correlation between NDVI and ETa ranged between 0.3 and 0.84 for about 44% of the cropping zones. Similarly, for each individual crop zones, the correlation (R2) between the seasonal ETa anomaly and de-trended cereal crop yield was between 0.4 and 0.82 for 76% (31 out of 41) of the crop growing zones. The preliminary results indicated that the ETa products have a good predictive potential for these 31 identified zones in Ethiopia. Decision makers may potentially use ETa products for monitoring cereal crop yields and early warning of food insecurity during drought years for these identified zones.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluating a satellite-based seasonal evapotranspiration product and identifying its relationship with other satellite-derived products and crop yield: A case study for Ethiopia
Series title International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
DOI 10.1016/j.jag.2015.03.006
Volume 40
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 16 p.
First page 39
Last page 54
Country Ethiopia