Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074002
Title (Primary) The German drought monitor
Author Zink, M.; Samaniego, L. ORCID logo ; Kumar, R. ORCID logo ; Thober, S.; Mai, J.; Schäfer, D.; Marx, A.
Source Titel Environmental Research Letters
Year 2016
Department CHS
Volume 11
Issue 7
Page From art. 074002
Language englisch
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract The 2003 drought event in Europe had major implications on many societal sectors, including energy production, health, forestry and agriculture. The reduced availability of water accompanied by high temperatures led to substantial economic losses on the order of 1.5 Billion Euros, in agriculture alone. Furthermore, soil droughts have considerable impacts on ecosystems, forest fires and water management. Monitoring soil water availability in near real-time and at high-resolution, i.e., 4 × 4 km2, enables water managers to mitigate the impact of these extreme events. The German drought monitor was established in 2014 as an online platform. It uses an operational modeling system that consists of four steps: (1) a daily update of observed meteorological data by the German Weather Service, with consistency checks and interpolation; (2) an estimation of current soil moisture using the mesoscale hydrological model; (3) calculation of a quantile-based soil moisture index (SMI) based on a 60 year data record; and (4) classification of the SMI into five drought classes ranging from abnormally dry to exceptional drought. Finally, an easy to understand map is produced and published on a daily basis on Analysis of the ongoing 2015 drought event, which garnered broad media attention, shows that 75% of the German territory underwent drought conditions in July 2015. Regions such as Northern Bavaria and Eastern Saxony, however, have been particularly prone to drought conditions since autumn 2014. Comparisons with historical droughts show that the 2015 event is amongst the ten most severe drought events observed in Germany since 1954 in terms of its spatial extent, magnitude and duration.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Zink, M., Samaniego, L., Kumar, R., Thober, S., Mai, J., Schäfer, D., Marx, A. (2016):
The German drought monitor
Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (7), art. 074002 10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074002