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Article

Remote Sensing of Water Use Efficiency and Terrestrial Drought Recovery across the Contiguous United States

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201, USA
2
Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060731
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Hydrological Extremes)
Ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE) is defined as the ratio of carbon gain (i.e., gross primary productivity; GPP) to water consumption (i.e., evapotranspiration; ET). WUE is markedly influential on carbon and water cycles, both of which are fundamental for ecosystem state, climate and the environment. Drought can affect WUE, subsequently disturbing the composition and functionality of terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, the impacts of drought on WUE and its components (i.e., GPP and ET) are assessed across the Contiguous US (CONUS) at fine spatial and temporal resolutions. Soil moisture simulations from land surface modeling are utilized to detect and characterize agricultural drought episodes and remotely sensed GPP and ET are retrieved from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS). GPP, as the biome vitality indicator against drought stress, is employed to investigate drought recovery and the ecosystems’ required time to revert to pre-drought condition. Results show that drought recovery duration indicates a positive correlation with drought severity and duration, meaning that a protracted drought recovery is more likely to happen following severe droughts with prolonged duration. WUE is found to almost always increase in response to severe (or worse) drought episodes. Additionally, ET anomalies are negatively correlated with drought severity and ET is expected to decrease during severe (or worse) drought episodes. Lastly, the changes of WUE are decomposed in relation to its components and the cross-relation among the variables is revealed and a consistent changing pattern is detected. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; Water Use Efficiency; gross primary productivity; evapotranspiration; drought recovery; CONUS drought; Water Use Efficiency; gross primary productivity; evapotranspiration; drought recovery; CONUS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ahmadi, B.; Ahmadalipour, A.; Tootle, G.; Moradkhani, H. Remote Sensing of Water Use Efficiency and Terrestrial Drought Recovery across the Contiguous United States. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 731. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060731

AMA Style

Ahmadi B, Ahmadalipour A, Tootle G, Moradkhani H. Remote Sensing of Water Use Efficiency and Terrestrial Drought Recovery across the Contiguous United States. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(6):731. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060731

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ahmadi, Behzad, Ali Ahmadalipour, Glenn Tootle, and Hamid Moradkhani. 2019. "Remote Sensing of Water Use Efficiency and Terrestrial Drought Recovery across the Contiguous United States" Remote Sensing 11, no. 6: 731. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060731

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