Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A land data assimilation system for sub-Saharan Africa food and water security applications

February 1, 2017

Seasonal agricultural drought monitoring systems, which rely on satellite remote sensing and land surface models (LSMs), are important for disaster risk reduction and famine early warning. These systems require the best available weather inputs, as well as a long-term historical record to contextualize current observations. This article introduces the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Land Data Assimilation System (FLDAS), a custom instance of the NASA Land Information System (LIS) framework. The FLDAS is routinely used to produce multi-model and multi-forcing estimates of hydro-climate states and fluxes over semi-arid, food insecure regions of Africa. These modeled data and derived products, like soil moisture percentiles and water availability, were designed and are currently used to complement FEWS NET’s operational remotely sensed rainfall, evapotranspiration, and vegetation observations. The 30+ years of monthly outputs from the FLDAS simulations are publicly available from the NASA Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) and recommended for use in hydroclimate studies, early warning applications, and by agro-meteorological scientists in Eastern, Southern, and Western Africa.

Publication Year 2017
Title A land data assimilation system for sub-Saharan Africa food and water security applications
DOI 10.1038/sdata.2017.12
Authors Amy McNally, Kristi Arsenault, Sujay Kumar, Shraddhanand Shukla, Pete Peterson, Shugong Wang, Chris Funk, Christa Peters-Lidard, James Verdin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Scientific Data
Index ID 70192900
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center