Regionalization and spatial changing properties of droughts across the Pearl River basin, China

Qiang Zhang*, Mingzhong Xiao, Vijay P. Singh, Jianfeng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


In frequency analysis for droughts, the absence of lengthy records usually limits the reliability of statistical estimates. To overcome this limitation, a “regional” analysis approach is often used. Hydrological events typically have multivariate characteristics; therefore it is logical to jointly consider these characteristics when carrying out a multivariate regional frequency analysis for these events. This study presents a method for regional frequency analysis in the Pearl River basin using the multivariate L-moments homogeneity test. Results indicate that the Pearl River basin can be categorized into five homogeneous regions in terms of drought variation, and the Plackett copula fits well for all of the homogeneous regions. The frequency analysis of all sites in each homogeneous region shows that the Pearl River Delta is characterized by a high drought risk, while a relatively lower drought risk in the west and northeast parts of the Pearl River basin. Results of this study will be useful for basin-scale water resources management across the Pearl River basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-366
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Early online date10 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2012

User-Defined Keywords

  • Regionalization of droughts
  • Multivariate homogeneity test
  • Multivariate regional frequency analysis
  • Pearl River basin


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