Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (11): 1835-1848.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201511012

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Agricultural drought monitor: Progress, challenges and prospect

Xianfeng LIU1,2(), Xiufang ZHU1,2, Yaozhong PAN1,2(), Shuangshuang LI1,3, Yanxu LIU4   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. College of Resources Science & Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3. Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    4. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2015-07-07 Revised:2015-08-16 Online:2015-11-20 Published:2015-11-20
  • Supported by:
    Major Project of High-resolution Earth Observation System


In this paper, we compared the concept of agricultural drought and its relationship with other types of drought, and discussed research progress in agricultural drought monitoring from the site-based and remote sensing aspects, respectively. The applicability and limitations of different drought monitoring indexes were also compared. Results showed that the site-based drought index has experienced a long development history and become the main way of monitoring drought. Meanwhile, the remote sensing based drought index was mainly established from two aspects, soil water and crop water, and has achieved good results in agricultural drought monitoring. In addition, through mathematical statistics and document comparison, the development and latest progress of agricultural drought monitoring has been revealed, suggesting a transformation of agricultural drought monitoring from traditional single meteorological monitoring indicators to integrated meteorology and remote sensing monitoring indicators, mainly reflected in the introduction of multisource data and the innovation of research methods. The applicability and limitations of comprehensive drought monitoring indexes established in recent years were also discussed. Finally, through the analysis of current challenges in agricultural drought monitoring, future research prospects in agricultural drought monitoring are proposed, including further investigating the mechanism of agricultural drought, identifying the influences of agricultural drought, developing a multi spatiotemporal scale agricultural drought monitoring model, coupling the qualitative and quantitative agricultural drought evaluation models, and improving the application level of remote sensing data in agricultural drought monitoring.

Key words: agricultural drought, drought monitor, research progress, research prospect