Drought Monitoring in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic Region

Earthzine2015 Spring VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session, Responding to Natural Disasters and Environmental Changes

Category: Responding to Natural Disasters and Environmental Changes

Project Team: Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources III

Team Location: NASA Langley Research Center – Hampton, Virginia

Map of instantaneous evapotranspiration, calculated by the METRIC model for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The red squares depict our study areas and fields of interest. Image Credit: Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources III Team


Kent Sparrow

Jamie VanderHeiden


Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Program)

Jamie Favors (NASA DEVELOP National Program)

Past/Other Contributors:

Brice Kaw-uh

Kelsey Renoll

Abigail Hollbrock

Catherine Steenholt

Steve Padgett-Vasquez

Lydia Cuker

Jelly Reickel

Zak Boston

Liafa Porbenni

Cassandra Morgan

Lance Watkins

Kenton Ross

Scott Baron

Christopher Ferraro

Nathan Owen


Crop irrigation accounts for a considerable amount of water use in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region. Better understanding of how much water farmers need to irrigate their fields will help decrease both water waste and the economic burden for farmers. The Mapping Evapotranspiration at High Resolution with Internalized Calibration (METRIC) model is a powerful tool that calculates evapotranspiration (ET) based on localized data. Executable from a Python script, the model can be used as a decision-support tool that allows farmers to make more informed decisions about when irrigation is necessary. METRIC estimates ET using a series of equations where local input variables are acquired from Landsat 8 sensors, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) survey-based Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and local weather conditions. While METRIC-derived ET estimates are beneficial for irrigation purposes, they also can provide state officials with a useful means of drought monitoring. Utilizing data from NASA Earth observations in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region will contribute to a large-scale, more-complete understanding of the water consumption behavior in an area that can be used for both policy and individual agricultural decisions.

Previous story / Next story

[insert page=’vps-2015-grid’ display=’content’]