Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 132, Issue 1–2, pp 167–180 | Cite as

Discrete wavelet transform-based investigation into the variability of standardized precipitation index in Northwest China during 1960–2014

  • Peng Yang
  • Jun Xia
  • Chesheng Zhan
  • Yongyong Zhang
  • Sheng Hu
Original Paper


In this study, the temporal variations of the standard precipitation index (SPI) were analyzed at different scales in Northwest China (NWC). Discrete wavelet transform (DWT) was used in conjunction with the Mann-Kendall (MK) test in this study. This study also investigated the relationships between original precipitation and different periodic components of SPI series with datasets spanning 55 years (1960–2014). The results showed that with the exception of the annual and summer SPI in the Inner Mongolia Inland Rivers Basin (IMIRB), spring SPI in the Qinghai Lake Rivers Basin (QLRB), and spring SPI in the Central Asia Rivers Basin (CARB), it had an increasing trend in other regions for other time series. In the spring, summer, and autumn series, though the MK trends test in most areas was at the insignificant level, they showed an increasing trend in precipitation. Meanwhile, the SPI series in most subbasins of NWC displayed a turning point in 1980–1990, with the significant increasing levels after 2000. Additionally, there was a significant difference between the trend of the original SPI series and the largest approximations. The annual and seasonal SPI series were composed of the short periodicities, which were less than a decade. The MK value would increase by adding the multiple D components (and approximations), and the MK value of the combined series was in harmony with that of the original series. Additionally, the major trend of the annual SPI in NWC was based on the four kinds of climate indices (e.g., Atlantic Oscillation [AO], North Atlantic Oscillation [NAO], Pacific Decadal Oscillation [PDO], and El Nino-Southern Oscillation index [ENSO/NINO]), especially the ENSO.


Standardized Precipitation Index Trend analysis Discrete wavelet transforms Northwest China 



The research is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program: 2012CB956204) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC: 41571019, 41371043). The authors thank the National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, for providing the meteorological data for this study. Thanks are due to Dr. Yanfang Sang’s constructive suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Xia
    • 3
    • 1
  • Chesheng Zhan
    • 1
  • Yongyong Zhang
    • 1
  • Sheng Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface ProcessesInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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