Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 130, Issue 1–2, pp 497–509 | Cite as

Statistical analysis of short-term water stress conditions at Riggs Creek OzFlux tower site

  • Mohammad Azmi
  • Christoph Rüdiger
  • Jeffrey P. Walker
Original Paper


A large range of indices and proxies are available to describe the water stress conditions of an area subject to different applications, which have varying capabilities and limitations depending on the prevailing local climatic conditions and land cover. The present study uses a range of spatio-temporally high-resolution (daily and within daily) data sources to evaluate a number of drought indices (DIs) for the Riggs Creek OzFlux tower site in southeastern Australia. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to evaluate the statistical characteristics of individual DIs subject to short-term water stress conditions. In order to derive a more general and therefore representative DI, a new criterion is required to specify the statistical similarity between each pair of indices to allow determining the dominant drought types along with their representative DIs. The results show that the monitoring of water stress at this case study area can be achieved by evaluating the individual behaviour of three clusters of (i) vegetation conditions, (ii) water availability and (iii) water consumptions. This indicates that it is not necessary to assess all individual DIs one by one to derive a comprehensive and informative data set about the water stress of an area; instead, this can be achieved by analysing one of the DIs from each cluster or deriving a new combinatory index for each cluster, based on established combination methods.


Water Stress Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Standardize Precipitation Index Drought Index Water Stress Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Mohammad Azmi acknowledges Monash University to fund this research in the form of a PhD stipend and tuition fee scholarship (MGS and FEIPRS). APWM and the Australian OzFlux network, especially Professor Jason Beringer from the University of Western Australia, are recognised for providing access to their data and also the photos of tower.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Azmi
    • 1
  • Christoph Rüdiger
    • 1
  • Jeffrey P. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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