From meteorological droughts to hydrological droughts: a case study of the Weihe River Basin, China

  • Panpan Zhao
  • Haishen Lü
  • Wenchuan Wang
  • Guobin FuEmail author
Original Paper


The standard precipitation index (SPI) and streamflow drought index (SDI) were used in this study to investigate the relationship between meteorological and hydrological droughts in the Weihe River Basin, the largest tributary of the Yellow River—the 6th longest river in the world and the “Mother River of China.” Results showed that (1) the frequencies of both meteorological droughts and hydrological droughts have showed an increasing trend in the last 50 years in the Weihe River basin; (2) there was a strong relationship between meteorological and the hydrological droughts, which can be linked with a simple linear function; (3) the relationship between meteorological and the hydrological droughts varied in space and time; and (4) the differences between meteorological and the hydrological droughts have become more significant during the last 50 years. The presented results not only play an important reference in understanding the relationships between meteorological and hydrological droughts, but also have practical applications for regional water resource managements at catchment scale.


Hydrological drought Meteorological drought Standard precipitation index (SPI) Streamflow drought index (SDI) The Weihe River Basin 



We would like to thank Dr. Pradeep Naik (Associate Editor) and the anonymous reviewer for their invaluable comments and constructive suggestions used to improve the quality of the manuscript.

Funding information

This study is partly funded by the National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2016YFC0402703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nno. 41807169 and 41830752), Henan Province University Scientific and Technological Innovation Team (18IRTSTHN009), and Henan Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation and Treatment (2017016).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panpan Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haishen Lü
    • 3
  • Wenchuan Wang
    • 1
  • Guobin Fu
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Water ConservancyNorth China University of Water Resources and Electric PowerZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterWembleyAustralia
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resource and Hydraulic Engineering, College of Hydrology and Water ResourcesHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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