Assessing the responses of hydrological drought to meteorological drought in the Huai River Basin, China

Jiayun Li, Chuanhao Wu, Chuan An Xia, Pat J.F. Yeh, Bill X. Hu, Guoru Huang

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    Objective evaluation of the relationships among different types of droughts remains a challenging task due to the combined impacts of climate change and land surface modification caused by human activities. Based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Standardized Runoff Index (SRI) at the 3- and 6-month timescales, this study presents a systematic analysis of the relationships between the severity (S) and duration (D) of meteorological (MD) and hydrological droughts (HD) in the three catchments of the upper Huai River Basin in China. The relation between SPI and SRI is explored by the maximal information coefficient and the mutual entropy. The spatial propagation mechanism of MD is identified by the centroid trajectory, and the response of HD to MD is quantified by the model averaging method. The results indicate a drying (wetting) trend in the upstream (downstream) area, while the centroid trajectory of MD is found in the midstream area, but not associated with the large (or small) S and D simultaneously. There is a strong correlation (determination coefficient > 0.55) between SPI and SRI in all three subareas, particularly at the 6-month timescale. The increasing influences of human activities (e.g., regulation of water conservancy facilities) from upstream to downstream lead to a weaker correlation between SPI and SRI as well as a decreasing threshold of D for MD to trigger HD in downstream. By contrast, the drier climatic conditions are the main reason for the increasing threshold of S for MD to trigger HD from upstream to downstream.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1043-1057
    Number of pages15
    JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021


    • Drought evolution
    • Huai River basin
    • Hydrological drought
    • Meteorological drought

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