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Examining spatial variations in the utility of SPI as a 1 to 3 month-ahead streamflow indicator

West, Harry; Quinn, Nevil; Horswell, Michael

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Authors

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Dr Harry West Harry.West@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Geography & Environmental Management

Michael Horswell Michael.Horswell@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in GIS & Spatial Analysis



Abstract

Droughts are a common meteorological phenomenon and a significant natural hazard. Despite this we lack a common understanding of the definition of a drought event and a detailed understanding of drought onset and termination. In its simplest form however a drought can be defined as a deficit of rainfall relative to normal conditions. This rainfall deficit will eventually propagate through the hydrological system into terrestrial water storage and streamflow. Using the latest available hydro-meteorological datasets from the UK Droughts & Water Scarcity Programme, this paper aims to examine the relationship between rainfall deficit (quantified by the standardised precipitation index for a range of accumulation periods ranging from 1 to 12 months) and environmental drought (quantified by the standardised streamflow index) in 293 catchments across Great Britain. Through this we identify the rainfall deficit accumulation periods that are associated with the more severe environmental droughts, and in doing so identify the role of local catchment characteristics (quantified by the base flow index) in moderating drought frequency and severity. By developing a spatial understanding of the relationship between rainfall deficit accumulation and environmental drought, we identify and map the variation in critical SPI accumulation thresholds for estimating environmental drought risk over the forthcoming 1 to 3 months. The intention is that this will provide water resource managers with a simple tool to aid effective decision making in drought event management.

Citation

West, H., Quinn, N., & Horswell, M. (2019, March). Examining spatial variations in the utility of SPI as a 1 to 3 month-ahead streamflow indicator. Poster presented at UK Drought & Water Scarcity Conference: Addressing Current & Future Challenges, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name UK Drought & Water Scarcity Conference: Addressing Current & Future Challenges
Conference Location University of Oxford, Oxford, England
Start Date Mar 20, 2019
End Date Mar 21, 2019
Acceptance Date Jan 16, 2019
Publication Date Mar 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/850336
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : UK Drought & Water Scarcity Conference: Addressing Current & Future Challenges

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