An approach to characterise spatio-temporal drought dynamics

Vitali Diaz, Gerald A. Corzo Perez, Henny A.J. Van Lanen, Dimitri Solomatine, Emmanouil A. Varouchakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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The spatiotemporal monitoring of droughts is a complex task. In the past decades, drought monitoring has been increasingly developed, while the consideration of its spatio-temporal dynamics is still a challenge. This study proposes a method to build the spatial tracks and paths of drought, which can enhance its monitoring. The steps for the drought tracks calculation are (1) identification of spatial units (areas), (2) centroids localisation, and (3) centroids linkage. The spatio-temporal analysis performed here to extract the areas and centroids builds upon the Contiguous Drought Area (CDA) analysis. The potential of the proposed methodology is illustrated using grid data from the Standardized Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI) Global Drought Monitor over India (1901-2013), as an example. The method to calculate the drought tracks allows for identification of drought paths delineated by an onset and an end in space and time. Tracks, severity and duration of the drought are identified, as well as localisation (onset and end position), and rotation. The response of the drought tracking method to different combinations of parameters is also analysed. Further research is in progress to set up a model to predict the drought tracks for particular regions across the world, including India (
Original languageEnglish
Article number103512
Number of pages21
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Drought characterisation
  • Drought dynamics
  • Drought monitoring
  • Drought tracking
  • Spatio-temporal drought analysis


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