Multi-criteria modelling of drought: a study of Brandenburg Federal State, Germany

Drought is the absence or below-required supply of precipitation, runoff and or moisture for an extended time period. Modelling drought is relevant in assessing drought incidence and pattern. This study aimed to model the spatial variation and incidence of the 2018 drought in Brandenburg using GIS and remote sensing. To achieve this, we employed a Multi-Criteria Approach (MCA) by using three parameters including Precipitation, Land Surface Temperature and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We acquired the precipitation data from Deutsche Wetterdienst, Land Surface Temperature and NDVI from Landsat 8 imageries on the USGS Earth Explorer. The datasets were analyzed using ArcGIS 10.7. The information from these three datasets was used as parameters in assessing drought prevalence using the MCA. The MCA was used in developing the drought model, ‘PLAN’, which was used to classify the study area into three levels/zones of drought prevalence: moderate, high and extreme drought. We went further to quantify the agricultural areas affected by drought in the study area by integrating the land use map. Results revealed that 92% of the study area was severely and highly affected by drought especially in districts of Oberhavel, Uckermark, Potsdam-Staedte, and Teltow-Flaeming. Finding also revealed that 77.54% of the total agricultural land falls within the high drought zones. We advocated for the application of drought models (such as ‘PLAN’), that incorporates flexibility (tailoring to study needs) and multi-criteria (robustness) in drought assessment. We also suggested that adaptive drought management should be championed using drought prevalence mapping.
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Modeling Earth Systems and Environment
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