Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 131, Issue 1–2, pp 167–179 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal trend analysis of precipitation, temperature, and river discharge in the northeast of Iran in recent decades

  • Masoud MinaeiEmail author
  • Masoud Irannezhad
Original Paper


This study analyses spatio-temporal trends in precipitation, temperature, and river discharge in the northeast of Iran during recent decades (1953–2013). The Pettitt, SNHT, Buishand, Box-Pierce, Ljung-Box, and McLeod-Li methods were applied to examine homogeneity in time series studied. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall and Sen’s slope estimator tests were used to detect possible significant (p < 0.05) temporal trends in hydrometeorological time series and their magnitude, respectively. For time series with autocorrelation, the trend-free pre-whitening (TFPW) method was used to determine significant trends. To explore spatial distributions of trends, their magnitudes were interpolated by the inverse distance whitening (IDW) method. Trend analysis shows that for daily, monthly, and annual precipitation time series, 12.5, 19, and 12.5 % of the stations revealed significant increasing trends, respectively. For mean temperature, warming trends were found at 38, 23, and 31 % of the stations on daily, monthly, and annual timescales, in turn. Daily and monthly river discharge decreased at 80 and 40 % of the stations. Overall, these results indicate significant increases in precipitation and temperature but decreases in river discharge during recent decades. Hence, it can be concluded that decreasing trends in river discharge time series over the northeast of Iran during 1953–2013 are in response to warming temperatures, which increase the rate of evapotranspiration. Differences between the results of our comprehensive large-scale study and those of previous researches confirm the necessity for more model-based local studies on climatic and environmental changes across the northeast of Iran.



The authors would like to thank the Golestan Jihad-e-Agriculture organization, Dr. S.R. Hosseinzadeh (Ferdowsi University of Mashhad) and Dr. Naser Bay (Golestan Red Crescent Society). We are also grateful to Dr. Mahmud Davudi, Dr. Sajad begheri, Mr. Jabbar Mala Arazi, Ms. Mahboubeh Shahabi, and Ms. Mahdieh Marashi.


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of TechnologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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