Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 122, Issue 3–4, pp 609–618 | Cite as

Detection of precipitation variability based on entropy over nearly 50 years in Xinjiang, northwestern China

  • Chuancheng ZhaoEmail author
  • Shuxia Yao
  • Yongjian Ding
  • Jian Wang
Original Paper


Based on precipitation data of 53 meteorological stations from 1960 to 2008, the entropy method was used to analyze spatial variability of precipitation in Xinjiang, China, over monthly, seasonal, and annual timescales. The spatial distribution of precipitation variability was significantly affected by topography and was zonal on all timescales. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test was used to analyze changes in the distributions. A precipitation concentration index was developed to categorize the variability of annual precipitation. Summer variability contributed less to annual variability than that of other seasons. Various months contributed to annual mean variability differently across the years. Overall, the variability of precipitation was shown to increase north of Xinjiang, especially in mountainous regions, where the increase was statistically significant (P = 0.05). South of Xinjiang, the variability increased only slightly, consistent with the distribution of precipitation.


Entropy Tarim Basin Monthly Precipitation Tianshan Mountain Precipitation Variability 
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.



The study was also supported by the Major National Science Research Program (973 Program) (No. 2013CBA01806), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41361013 and 31300388), State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Open Fund (SKLCS 2012–10), and Lanzhou City University Ph.D. Research Fund (LZCU-BS2013-09 and LZCU-BS2013-12). The authors are grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their very useful suggestions and comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuancheng Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shuxia Yao
    • 1
  • Yongjian Ding
    • 2
  • Jian Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Lanzhou City UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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