Drought: Precipitation, Evapotranspiration, and Soil Moisture

Authored by: Joshua B. Fisher , Konstantinos M. Andreadis

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:


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Drought is the major hydrological disaster for human society, and encompasses multiple hydrological components. There are numerous definitions of drought, many of which do not include transpiration or evaporation (evapotranspiration, ET). We describe here the role of ET in drought, and why ET is important to consider when assessing drought. We emphasize the dynamic roles of ET, precipitation, and soil moisture, with a focus on the vegetation response during water stress. Finally, we conclude with a case study example of drought in Amazonia.

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