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Food, water, and fault lines: Remote sensing opportunities for earthquake-response management of agricultural water.

  • Author(s): Rodriguez, Jenna
  • Ustin, Susan
  • Sandoval-Solis, Samuel
  • O'Geen, Anthony Toby
  • et al.
Abstract

Earthquakes often cause destructive and unpredictable changes that can affect local hydrology (e.g. groundwater elevation or reduction) and thus disrupt land uses and human activities. Prolific agricultural regions overlie seismically active areas, emphasizing the importance to improve our understanding and monitoring of hydrologic and agricultural systems following a seismic event. A thorough data collection is necessary for adequate post-earthquake crop management response; however, the large spatial extent of earthquake's impact makes challenging the collection of robust data sets for identifying locations and magnitude of these impacts. Observing hydrologic responses to earthquakes is not a novel concept, yet there is a lack of methods and tools for assessing earthquake's impacts upon the regional hydrology and agricultural systems. The objective of this paper is to describe how remote sensing imagery, methods and tools allow detecting crop responses and damage incurred after earthquakes because a change in the regional hydrology. Many remote sensing datasets are long archived with extensive coverage and with well-documented methods to assess plant-water relations. We thus connect remote sensing of plant water relations to its utility in agriculture using a post-earthquake agrohydrologic remote sensing (PEARS) framework; specifically in agro-hydrologic relationships associated with recent earthquake events that will lead to improved water management.

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