Water Science and Engineering 2018, 11(3) 177-186 DOI:   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2018.10.003  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Multiscalar index
Multifaceted comparison

Application of a hybrid multiscalar indicator in drought identification in Beijing and Guangzhou, China

Ming-wei Maa,b,c, Wen-chuan Wanga,b,*, Fei Yuanc, Li-liang Renc, Xin-jun Tud, Hong-fei Zanga,b

a School of Water Conservancy, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450046, China
b Collaborative Innovation Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Protection Engineering of Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450046, China
c State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
d Department of Water Resources and Environment, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China


The Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) is physically based with multivariate concepts, but requires complicated calibration and cannot easily be used for multiscale comparison. Standardized drought indices (SDIs), such as the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), are multiscalar and convenient for spatiotemporal comparison, but they are still challenged by their lack of physical basis. In this study, a hybrid multiscalar indicator, the standardized Palmer drought index (SPDI), was used to examine drought properties of two meteorological stations (the Beijing and Guangzhou stations) in China, which have completely different drought climatologies. The results of our case study show that the SPDI is correlated with the well-established drought indices (SPI, SPEI, and PDSI) and presents generally consistent drought/wetness conditions against multiple indicators and literature records. Relative to the PDSI, the SPDI demonstrates invariable statistical characteristics and better comparable drought/wetness frequencies over time and space. Moreover, characteristics of major drought events (drought class, and onset and end times) indicated by the SPDI are generally comparable to those detected by the PDSI. As a physically-based standardized multiscalar drought indicator, the SPDI can be regarded as an effective development of the Palmer drought indices, providing additional choices and tools for practical drought monitoring and assessment.

   PDSI   Multiscalar index   SPDI   Multifaceted comparison  
Received 2018-04-13 Revised 2018-07-01 Online: 2018-07-30 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2018.10.003

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701022), the Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of HydrolWen-chuan Wangogy-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering (Grant No. 2017491011), and the Scientific and Technical Innovation Team Foundation for Universities of Henan Province (Grant No. 18IRTSTHN009).

Corresponding Authors: Wen-chuan Wang
Email: wangwen1621@163.com
About author:


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