Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 123, Issue 3–4, pp 757–768

Spatiotemporal characteristics of precipitation concentration and their possible links to urban extent in China

Original Paper


Extreme precipitation has been reported to occur more frequently, and intensified extreme precipitation can cause considerable socioeconomic losses. Extreme precipitation can be measured by the concentration index (CI) and the precipitation concentration index (PCI). The former indicates the degree to which daily precipitation is unevenly distributed in the time domain, and the latter represents the degree to which monthly precipitation is unevenly distributed throughout the year. In this paper, we analyzed spatiotemporal characteristics of extreme precipitation by using CI and PCI and examined whether links exist between extreme precipitation and urban extent. We found that the spatial patterns of PCI and CI are different over China. The two are consistent in being high in Northeast China and low in Southwest China. However, they differ significantly; Northwest China is where CI is low but PCI is high, which indicates that precipitation is highly concentrated in a few months of the year, but daily precipitation is more evenly distributed during the wet season in Northwest China. The trends of both PCI and annual CI are spatially heterogeneous and are significant at the 90 % confidence level for approximately 20 % of China, and seasonal CI exhibits very different trends. Possible links between precipitation concentration and urbanization are investigated by analyzing the correlation coefficient between CI (PCI) and population density. Precipitation concentration is found positively correlated with urbanization at the 99 % confidence level in the three selected regions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water Resources and Environment, School of Geography Science and PlanningSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Water Security in Southern China of Guangdong High Education InstituteSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Urban Planning and Environmental ScienceLiaoning Normal UniversityDalianPeople’s Republic of China

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