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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-289
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-289
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Nov 2018

Research article | 01 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

High-spatial resolution probability maps of drought duration and magnitude across Spain

Fernando Domínguez-Castro1, Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano1, Miquel Tomás-Burguera2, Marina Peña-Gallardo1, Santiago Beguería2, Ahmed El Kenawy1,3, Yolanda Luna4, and Ana Morata4 Fernando Domínguez-Castro et al.
  • 1Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Spanish National Research Council (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, 50059, Spain
  • 2Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, Spanish National Research Council (EEAD-CSIC), Zaragoza, 50059, Spain
  • 3Department of Geography, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516, Egypt
  • 4Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET), Madrid, 28071, Spain

Abstract. We mapped – for the first time – the probability of occurrence of drought over Spain, with the overriding aim of improving current drought assessment, management and mitigation measures and strategies across the region. We employed two well-established drought indices: the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Drought characteristics (i.e. duration and severity) were characterised at 1-, 3-, 6- and 12-month, implying that drought event is attained only when the index values are lower than zero. We applied the extreme value theory to map drought hazard probability. Following this procedure, we tested different thresholds to generate the peak-over-threshold drought severity and magnitude series, besides evaluating different three-parametric distributions and thresholds to fit these series. Our results demonstrate that the Generalized Pareto distribution performs well in estimating the frequencies of drought magnitude and duration, with good agreement between the observed and modelled data when using upper percentiles to generate the peak-over-threshold series. Spatially, our estimations suggest a higher probability of extreme drought events in southern and central areas of Spain, compared to northern and eastern regions. Nevertheless, there are strong differences in drought probability estimations between drought indices (i.e. SPI and SPEI), as well as among drought timescales.

Fernando Domínguez-Castro et al.
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We mapped – for the first time – the probability of occurrence of drought over Spain, with the overriding aim of improving current drought assessment, management and mitigation measures and strategies across the region. Spatially, our estimations suggest a higher probability of extreme drought events in southern and central areas of Spain, compared to northern and eastern regions. Nevertheless, there are strong differences between drought indices, as well as among drought timescales.
We mapped – for the first time – the probability of occurrence of drought over Spain, with the...
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