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Geospatial cluster analysis of the state, duration and severity of drought over Paraíba State, northeastern Brazil

Brasil Neto, Reginaldo Moura; Santos, Celso Augusto Guimar�es; Silva, Richarde Marques da; Santos, Carlos Antonio Costa dos; Liu, Zhong; Quinn, Nevil Wyndham

Geospatial cluster analysis of the state, duration and severity of drought over Paraíba State, northeastern Brazil Thumbnail


Reginaldo Moura Brasil Neto

Celso Augusto Guimar�es Santos

Richarde Marques da Silva

Carlos Antonio Costa dos Santos

Zhong Liu


Droughts threaten water resources, agriculture, socio-economic activities and the population at the global and regional level, so identifying areas with homogeneous drought behaviors is an important consideration in improving the management of water resources. The objective of this study is to identify homogenous zones over Paraíba State in relation to the state, duration and severity of droughts that have occurred over the last 20 years (1998–2017) using hierarchical cluster analysis based on both gauge-measured and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) estimated rainfall data (TMPA 3B42). The drought series were calculated using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) based on eight time scales and were grouped according to drought state, duration and severity time series. The integrated results of state, duration and severity of droughts indicate that there is a basis for dividing Paraíba State into two major regions (a) Zone I, formed by Mata Paraibana and Agreste Paraibano, and (b) Zone II, composed by Borborema and Sertão Paraibano. This division is evident when assessing short-term droughts, but in the case of long-term droughts, Paraíba State has a high similarity in terms of drought state, duration, and severity. Factors such as proximity to the ocean, active climatic systems, and the local relief configuration were identified as influencing the drought regime. Finally, it is concluded that TMPA rainfall estimates represent a valuable source of data to regionalize and identify drought patterns over this part of Brazil and that other studies of this type should be carried out to monitor these phenomena based on other satellite-based rainfall data, including the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2021
Publication Date Dec 10, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2021
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 799
Article Number 149492
Keywords Pollution; Waste Management and Disposal; Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Engineering
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