Spatiotemporal Analysis of Drought by CHIRPS Precipitation Estimates

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Drought is one of the most devastating natural hazards causing considerable losses in all climatic zones of the world. It is one of the most complex and the least understood hazards at the same time because of its spatially heterogeneous and temporally variable character. Spatially dense and uniformly distributed ground-based meteorological data are needed for proper spatial and temporal drought analysis. In practice, such data are lacking in general due either to the nonexistence of ground stations or their uneven and scarce distribution over a region. This creates a great potential in the use of satellite precipitation estimates (SPEs) such as the long-period high-resolution Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS) data in drought analysis. In this study, we aim to analyze drought over the Kucuk Menderes River Basin in the western part of Turkey by using the CHIRPS data, which were found highly correlated with precipitation in the local ground stations. The analysis was performed by considering the spatial variability and temporal change in the drought characterization based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) calculated at the 3-month (seasonal) timescale. Drought in the river basin was found to have a within-year variability from month to month, and a spatial variability over the basin in any given month. Also, an over-year variability with a decreasing trend exists, which could be considered a signal for more strengthened droughts in the future. The study eventually demonstrates how the CHIRPS SPEs could be useful in the spatial and temporal drought analysis for regions with limited ground-based meteorological data.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Drought, Satellite precipitation estimates, CHIRPS ·, Standardized Precipitation Index, Kucuk Menderes River Basin


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