Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 432762
Title A generic method for hydrological drought identification across different climate regions
Author(s) Huijgevoort, M.H.J. van; Hazenberg, P.; Lanen, H.A.J. van; Uijlenhoet, R.
Source Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16 (2012). - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 2437 - 2451.
DOI https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-2437-2012
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) environment simulator jules - conterminous united-states - soil-moisture - model description - multimodel ensemble - land-surface - 20th-century - precipitation - temperature - definition
Abstract The identification of hydrological drought at global scale has received considerable attention during the last decade. However, climate-induced variation in runoff across the world makes such analyses rather complicated. This especially holds for the drier regions of the world (both cold and warm), where, for a considerable period of time, zero runoff can be observed. In the current paper, we present a method that enables to identify drought at global scale across climate regimes in a consistent manner. The method combines the characteristics of the classical variable threshold level method that is best applicable in regions with non-zero runoff most of the time, and the consecutive dry days (period) method that is better suited for areas where zero runoff occurs. The newly presented method allows a drought in periods with runoff to continue in the following period without runoff. The method is demonstrated by identifying droughts from discharge observations of four rivers situated within different climate regimes, as well as from simulated runoff data at global scale obtained from an ensemble of five different land surface models. The identified drought events obtained by the new approach are compared to those resulting from application of the variable threshold level method or the consecutive dry period method separately. Results show that, in general, for drier regions, the threshold level method overestimates drought duration, because zero runoff periods are included in a drought, according to the definition used within this method. The consecutive dry period method underestimates drought occurrence, since it cannot identify droughts for periods with runoff. The developed method especially shows its relevance in transitional areas, because, in wetter regions, results are identical to the classical threshold level method. By combining both methods, the new method is able to identify single drought events that occur during positive and zero runoff periods, leading to a more realistic global drought characterization, especially within drier environments.
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