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Natural Hazards

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 2027–2047 | Cite as

Space–time evolution of historical drought hazards in eastern China

  • Shixin Wang
  • Wenjun LiEmail author
  • Yi Zhou
  • Fuli Yan
  • Futao Wang
  • Wenliang Liu
Original Paper

Abstract

Drought is one of the important topics of interest in meteorology, geography and history. In this study, drought index data of 531 years (1470–2000) from historical records are collected and organized. Eastern China which has been densely populated and prosperous throughout Chinese history is chosen as the study area. Geostatistical methods are used to represent the spatio-temporal distribution of drought hazards. The results show that the northern part of the study area has a higher frequency of droughts and the temporal variations of the distribution have characteristics of a climatic cycle. In order to consider both space and time dimensions, space–time permutation scan statistic method is introduced for drought hazard analysis in this study. With the method, 14 spatio-temporal clusters are detected in the data set. These clusters are grouped into five stages using the Space–Time–Cube model for visualization. An evolution trace of the high-frequency drought areas is depicted in the long temporal scale on the basis of the results. The trajectory rises spirally in the Space–Time–Cube and vacillates in both the north-west–south-east and north-east–south-west directions. The features of the trajectory are related to the variations in the East Asian summer monsoon and other climatic elements. The south-west region is still the high drought hazards incidence area in the current stage.

Keywords

Historical drought hazards Space–time evolution Geostatistics Space–time permutation scan statistic Space–Time–Cube 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41301501 and 41201441) and the Special Foundation for Free Exploration of State Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science. We are grateful to the institutions and scholars who published the historical data. The authors are thankful to Professor Kulldorff for providing the software online for free.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shixin Wang
    • 1
  • Wenjun Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yi Zhou
    • 1
  • Fuli Yan
    • 1
  • Futao Wang
    • 1
  • Wenliang Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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