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Climate 2016, 4(1), 15; doi:10.3390/cli4010015

Change in Heavy Rainfall Characteristics over the Ouémé River Basin, Benin Republic, West Africa

1
West Africa Science Service Centre on Climate change and Adapted Land Use, University of Abomey-Calavi, Abomey-Calavi BP 2008, Benin Republic
2
Laboratory of Applied Hydrology, University of Abomey-Calavi, Abomey-Calavi BP 2008, Benin Republic
3
Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, Bonn 53115, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christina Anagnostopoulou
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes: Observations and Impacts)

Abstract

Climate change has severe impacts on natural resources, food production and consequently on food security especially in developing countries. Likely accentuated by climate change, flooding is one of the disasters that affects people and destroies agricultural land and products. At different governance levels and scales, appropriate responses are needed. Cluster analysis using scaled at-site characteristics was used to determine homogeneous rainfall regions. A methodology for detecting change was applied to heavy daily rainfall of 34 stations across the Ouémé basin, Benin, in order to assess potential change in its characteristics. The spatial variability of the detected changes in return periods was analyzed using the kriging interpolation method. For this analysis, up to 92 years (1921–2012) of rainfall data were used. Three homogeneous regions were found by the cluster analysis. For all studied return periods, 82% of the stations showed statistically significant change in daily precipitation, among which 57% exhibited a positive change and 43% negative change. A positive change is associated with an increase in heavy rainfall over the area of concern. An analysis of the interpolated change in heavy rainfall of different return periods revealed an east-west gradient from negative to positive along the lower Ouémé basin (Region 2). From the middle to the upper Ouémé (Region 1 and 3), a decreasing tendency of heavy rainfall is dominant mainly for the non-homogeneous period. This result of the complex pattern of changes could be veritable information for decision makers and consequently for development of appropriate adaptation measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy rainfall; generalized Pareto distribution; statistical tests; Ouémé basin heavy rainfall; generalized Pareto distribution; statistical tests; Ouémé basin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hounkpè, J.; Diekkrüger, B.; Badou, D.F.; Afouda, A.A. Change in Heavy Rainfall Characteristics over the Ouémé River Basin, Benin Republic, West Africa. Climate 2016, 4, 15.

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