Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student, Dep. of Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

2 Associate Prof., Dep. of Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

3 Assistant Prof., Dep. of Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran


Drought is one of the most important natural disasters in the country, with devastating environmental and economic effects. Most drought studies have focused on drought severity and other drought characteristics have not been usually investigated. In this research, for the first time, the capability of meteorological drought indices and satellite data are combined and applied to study drought in inland and coastal basins. For this purpose, the SPI index was calculated by using TRMM satellite precipitation products and then, the drought characteristics such as severity, duration, magnitude, and extent were spatially studied. The results showed that the correlation coefficient between the SPI calculated from the image and the station data was 0.94. The maximum intensity of drought in the study area was -4.19 which occurred in December 2010. Furthermore, the frequency of extreme droughts in 6- and 12-months timescales was higher in the inland area compared with the coastal area. Moreover, in the six-month timescales, 60 percent of drought events had a magnitude of -18.3 or less. The results showed that it is possible to obtain the extent of drought by using satellite imagery which cannot be calculated by other methods. Besides, by using satellite images, drought characteristics could be studied spatially at the basin scale, which is not possible by traditional methods. The results showed the advantage of using satellite precipitation images in the drought study


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