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Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 11;

A Correlation–Scale–Threshold Method for Spatial Variability of Rainfall

UNSW Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, Maharashtra, India
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100 084, China
Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R & D Institute of Science and Technology, Avadi, Chennai 600 062, Tamil Nadu, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
PDF [3506 KB, uploaded 15 February 2019]


Rainfall data at fine spatial resolutions are often required for various studies in hydrology and water resources. However, such data are not widely available, as their collection is normally expensive and time-consuming. A common practice to obtain fine-spatial-resolution rainfall data is to employ interpolation schemes to derive them based on data available at nearby locations. Such interpolation schemes are generally based on rainfall correlation or distance between stations. The present study proposes a combined rainfall correlation-spatial scale-correlation threshold method for representing spatial rainfall variability. The method is applied to monthly rainfall data at a resolution of 0.25° × 0.25° latitude/longitude across Australia, available from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM 3B43 version). The results indicate that rainfall dynamics in northern and northeastern Australia have far greater spatial correlations when compared to the other regions, especially in southern and southeastern Australia, suggesting that tropical climates generally have greater spatial rainfall correlations when compared to temperate, oceanic, and continental climates, subject to other influencing factors. The implications of the outcomes for rainfall data interpolation and the rain gauge monitoring network are also discussed, especially based on results obtained for ten major cities in Australia. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall; spatial variability; correlation; scale; threshold; Australia rainfall; spatial variability; correlation; scale; threshold; Australia

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Sivakumar, B.; Woldemeskel, F.M.; Vignesh, R.; Jothiprakash, V. A Correlation–Scale–Threshold Method for Spatial Variability of Rainfall. Hydrology 2019, 6, 11.

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