Analysis of Agricultural Drought’s Severity and Impacts in Erbil Province, the Iraqi Kurdistan Region based on Time Series NDVI and TCI Indices for 1998 through 2017

Heman A.A. Gaznayee and Ayad M. Fadhil Al-Quraishi

Iraq, including Erbil Province in the Kurdistan region, has severelysuffered drought events in the past, particularly during the last two decades. This study incorporated Geoinformation technology into assessing and monitoring drought’s severity and impacts that affected Erbil province in a span from 1998 to 2017. Twenty mosaics of two Landsat scenes for 20 years have accomplished for this study. Two spectral drought indices, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Temperature Condition Index (TCI), were extracted using 20 Landsat images mosaics to assess the drought’s severity and impacts. Statistical correlation analyses computed between the NDVI, TCI, and the study variables, such as climatic factors, field crop area, and field crop yield. The study findings clarified that Erbil province experienced severe to extreme severe agricultural droughts, which caused significant reductions in crop yields, particularly in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The results also revealed significant declines in the vegetative cover in the years 2000, 2008 and 2012, by 43.8%, 16.3%, and 10.9%, respectively. Furthermore, a drop in precipitation averages has occurred in those three drought years, as well as a significant reduction in the TCI values. The study results clarified that the southern and western parts of Erbil Province were the most parts exposed to the severe to exceptional agricultural drought episodes throughout the twenty years of this study.

Volume 11 | Issue 11

Pages: 287-297

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V11I11/20193198