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Open AccessArticle

Copula-Based Drought Analysis Using Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index: A Case Study in the Yellow River Basin, China

1
School of Water Conservancy and Environment, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
2
China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, the State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Beijing 100038, China
3
School of Water Conservancy, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450046, China
4
School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
5
Water Resources Section, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061298
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Drought is a complex natural phenomenon that occurs throughout the world. Analyzing and grasping the occurrence and development of drought events is of great practical significance for preventing drought disasters. In this study, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was adopted as a drought index to quantitatively analyze the temporal evolution, spatial distribution, and gridded trend characteristics of drought in the Yellow River basin (YRB) during 1961–2015. The duration and severity of drought events were extracted based on run theory, and the best-fitted Copula models were used to combine the drought duration and severity to analyze the drought return period. The results indicated that: (1) the drought showed a non-significant upward trend in the YRB from 1961 to 2015, and drought events became more serious after the 1990s; (2) the month and season with the most serious drought was June and summer, with an average SPEI value of −0.94 and −0.70; (3) the seasons with an increasing drought trend were spring, summer, and autumn; (4) the most serious drought lasted for 16 months in the YRB, with drought severity of 12.44 and drought return period of 115.18 years; and (5) Frank-copula was found to be the best-fitted one in the YRB. The research results can reveal the evolution characteristics of drought, and provide reference and basis for drought resistance and reduction in the YRB. View Full-Text
Keywords: standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI); copula; gridded trend characteristics; return period; yellow river basin (YRB) standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI); copula; gridded trend characteristics; return period; yellow river basin (YRB)
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Wang, F.; Wang, Z.; Yang, H.; Zhao, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Li, Z.; Hussain, Z. Copula-Based Drought Analysis Using Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index: A Case Study in the Yellow River Basin, China. Water 2019, 11, 1298.

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