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Open AccessArticle

Uncertainty of Hydrological Drought Characteristics with Copula Functions and Probability Distributions: A Case Study of Weihe River, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resource and Hydraulic Engineering, College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Land and Water, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Water 2017, 9(5), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9050334
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
This study investigates the sensitivity and uncertainty of hydrological droughts frequencies and severity in the Weihe Basin, China during 1960–2012, by using six commonly used univariate probability distributions and three Archimedean copulas to fit the marginal and joint distributions of drought characteristics. The Anderson-Darling method is used for testing the goodness-of-fit of the univariate model, and the Akaike information criterion (AIC) is applied to select the best distribution and copula functions. The results demonstrate that there is a very strong correlation between drought duration and drought severity in three stations. The drought return period varies depending on the selected marginal distributions and copula functions and, with an increase of the return period, the differences become larger. In addition, the estimated return periods (both co-occurrence and joint) from the best-fitted copulas are the closet to those from empirical distribution. Therefore, it is critical to select the appropriate marginal distribution and copula function to model the hydrological drought frequency and severity. The results of this study can not only help drought investigation to select a suitable probability distribution and copulas function, but are also useful for regional water resource management. However, a few limitations remain in this study, such as the assumption of stationary of runoff series. View Full-Text
Keywords: threshold level method; drought frequency analysis; copula; return period; sensitivity and uncertainty threshold level method; drought frequency analysis; copula; return period; sensitivity and uncertainty
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, P.; Lü, H.; Fu, G.; Zhu, Y.; Su, J.; Wang, J. Uncertainty of Hydrological Drought Characteristics with Copula Functions and Probability Distributions: A Case Study of Weihe River, China. Water 2017, 9, 334.

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