Relating the dynamics of climatological and hydrological droughts in semiarid Botswana

This study attempts to determine drought timescale that is suitable for monitoring the effects of drought on hydrological systems which can then be used to assess the long term persistence or reversion and forecasts of the dynamics. Based on this, climatological and hydrological drought indices characterized by Standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and Standardized flow index (SFI) respectively have been determined using monthly rainfall, temperature and flow data from two major river systems. The association between climatological and hydrological droughts in Botswana has been investigated using these river systems namely: Okavango that is predominantly a storage type and Limpopo which is non-storage for a period of 1975–2014. Dynamics of climatological and hydrological droughts are showing trends towards drying conditions at both river systems. It was also observed that hydrological droughts lag climatological droughts by 7 months in Limpopo and 6 months in Okavango river systems respectively. Analyses of the association between climatic and flow indices indicate that the degree of association becomes stronger with increasing timescale at the Okavango river system. However in the Limpopo river system, it was observed that high timescales of 18- and 24-months were not useful in drought monitoring. 15-months timescale was identified to best monitor drought dynamics at both locations. Therefore SPEIs and SFIs computed at 15-months timescale have been...
Source: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts ABC - Category: Science Source Type: research

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