Development and application of a short- /long-term composited drought index in the upper Huaihe River basin, China
- 1College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
- 2Center for International River Research, School of Business, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
- 3Xinyang Hydrology and Water Resources Survey Bureau, Xinyang, China
- 4Henan Hydrology and Water Resources Survey Bureau, Zhengzhou, China
Abstract. Accurate and reliable drought monitoring is of primary importance for drought mitigation and reduction of social-ecological vulnerability. The aim of the paper was to propose a short-term/long-term composited drought index (CDI) which could be widely used for drought monitoring and early warning in China. In the study, the upper Huaihe River basin above the Xixian gauge station, which has been hit by severe droughts frequently in recent decades, was selected as the case study site. The short-term CDI was developed by the Principle Component Analysis of the self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index (sc-PDSI), the 1- and 3-month Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), Z Index (ZIND), the Soil Moisture Index (SMI) with the long-term CDI being formulated by use of the self-calibrating Palmer Hydrology Drought Index (sc-PHDI), the 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-month SPEI, the Standardized Streamflow Index (SSI), the SMI. The sc-PDSI, the PHDI, the ZIND, the SPEI on a monthly time scale were calculated based on the monthly air temperature and precipitation, and the monthly SMI and SSI were computed based on the simulated soil moisture and runoff by the distributed Xinanjiang model. The thresholds of the short-term/long-term CDI were determined according to frequency statistics of different drought indices. Finally, the feasibility of the two CDIs was investigated against the scPDSI, the SPEI and the historical drought records. The results revealed that the short-term/long-term CDI could capture the onset, severity, persistence of drought events very well with the former being better at identifying the dynamic evolution of drought condition while the latter better at judging the changing trend of drought over a long time period.