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Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 8, pp 2611–2624 | Cite as

A Non-Stationary Reconnaissance Drought Index (NRDI) for Drought Monitoring in a Changing Climate

  • Javad BazrafshanEmail author
  • Somayeh Hejabi
Article

Abstract

Traditionally, drought indices are calculated under stationary condition, the assumption that is not true in a changing environment. Under non-stationary conditions, it is assumed the probability distribution parameters vary linearly/non-linearly with time or other covariates. In this study, using the GAMLSS algorithm, a time-varying location parameter of lognormal distribution fitted to the initial values (α0) of the traditional Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) was developed to establish a new index called the Non-Stationary RDI (NRDI), simplifying drought monitoring under non-stationarity. The fifteen meteorological stations having the longest records (1951–2014) in Iran were chose to evaluate the NRDI performances for drought monitoring. Trend analysis of the α0 series at multiple time windows was tested by using the Mann-Kendall statistics. Although all stations detected decreasing trend in the α0 series, eight of them were significant at the 5% probability level. The results showed that the time-dependent relationship is adequate to model the location parameter at the stations with the significant temporal trend. There were remarkable differences between the NRDI and the RDI, especially for the time windows larger than 6 months, implying monitoring droughts using the NRDI under non-stationarity. The study suggests using the NRDI where the significant time trend appears in the initial values of RDI due to changing climate.

Keywords

Non-Stationary RDI NRDI Drought GAMLSS Time-Dependent 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by Iran National Science Foundation and executed at University of Tehran-College of Agricultural and Natural Resources (UTCAN).

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Irrigation and Reclamation EngineeringUniversity of TehranKarajIran

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