Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.936 IF 4.936
  • IF 5-year value: 5.615 IF 5-year
    5.615
  • CiteScore value: 4.94 CiteScore
    4.94
  • SNIP value: 1.612 SNIP 1.612
  • IPP value: 4.70 IPP 4.70
  • SJR value: 2.134 SJR 2.134
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 107 Scimago H
    index 107
  • h5-index value: 63 h5-index 63
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-512
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-512
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Aug 2017

Submitted as: research article | 17 Aug 2017

Review status
This preprint was under review for the journal HESS. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

Frequently used drought indices reflect different drought conditions on global scale

Niko Wanders1,2, Anne F. Van Loon3, and Henny A. J. Van Lanen4 Niko Wanders et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 2Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 3School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 4Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Abstract. Drought is an abnormal and prolonged deficit in available water. Possible drought impacts are crop losses, famine, fatalities, power blackouts and degraded ecosystems. These severe socio-economic and environmental impacts show the need to carefully monitor drought conditions using a suitable index. Our objective is to provide an intercomparison of frequently used physical drought indices to show to which degree they are interchangeable for monitoring drought in precipitation, soil moisture, groundwater and streamflow. Physical indices are commonly introduced to predict drought impacts, because appropriate drought impact indices are still missing. Correlations (R) between frequently used indices for different drought types were calculated at the global scale. We have made the index timeseries available to the community for future studies. Precipitation drought indices show low to intermediate correlations (ranging from R = 0.1 to 0.75), soil moisture drought indices show an even lower similarity (R = 0.25). Indices for streamflow drought show the highest correlation (R = 0.5 to 0.95). Additionally, meteorological drought indices do not capture the soil moisture drought correctly (R = 0.0 to 0.6) nor streamflow drought (R = 0.0 to 0.7). These findings have implications for drought monitoring systems: (i) for each drought type, a different index should carefully be identified; (ii) drought indices that are designed to monitor the same drought type show large discrepancies in their anomalies and hence drought detection; (iii) there is no single superior physical drought index that is capable of accurately capturing the diverse set of drought impacts in all parts of the hydrological cycle.

Niko Wanders et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Interactive discussion

Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Niko Wanders et al.

Niko Wanders et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 1,584 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
868 706 10 1,584 30 44
  • HTML: 868
  • PDF: 706
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 1,584
  • BibTeX: 30
  • EndNote: 44
Views and downloads (calculated since 17 Aug 2017)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 17 Aug 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 1,484 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 1,466 with geography defined and 18 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Saved

No saved metrics found.

Discussed

No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 31 May 2020
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This paper investigates the similarities between frequently used drought indicators and how they should be used for global drought monitoring. We find that drought indicators that should monitor drought in the same hydrological domain show high discrepancy in their anomalies and thus drought detection. This shows that the current ways of monitoring drought events is not sufficient to fully capture the complexity of drought events and monitor the socio-economic impact of these large-scale events.
This paper investigates the similarities between frequently used drought indicators and how they...
Citation