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Analyzing temporal–spatial characteristics of drought events in the northern part of Cyprus

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  • Ahmad Haseeb Payab

    (Eastern Mediterranean University)

  • Umut Türker

    () (Eastern Mediterranean University)

Abstract

Drought in the northern part of Cyprus has become a recurrent phenomenon. In the last few decades, Cyprus has experienced significantly severe drought events occurring periodically, and this trend is now continuing. With rainfall distribution varying considerably across the region and frequent drought conditions, the water resources, agriculture, economy and the environment have been adversely affected. This study aims to investigate spatial–temporal characteristic of drought using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) at multiple timescales (3, 6 and 12 months). Monthly time series of 36 years (1977–2013) rainfall data from nine weather stations are used to derive SPI values. Based on different drought categories, this study focuses on propagation of drought from one timescale to another and estimating critical rainfall values during moderate, severe and extreme drought conditions. The analysis revealed that there is a strong correlation among different timescales in detecting drought events. On average, 79 and 78% of 3-month timescale drought propagated into 6- and 12-month drought events, respectively, while 90% of 6-month timescale drought events propagated into 12-month drought events. The derived critical rainfall value for extreme droughts over a 12-month timescale was less than 255 mm/year in the town of Alsancak, while for Guzelyurt, a major citrus growing city, this figure was less than 135 mm/year. The results are validated through drought events detected at various regions of the Mediterranean basin and local flood occurrences during the wet periods and decline in water tables at drought seasons.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmad Haseeb Payab & Umut Türker, 2018. "Analyzing temporal–spatial characteristics of drought events in the northern part of Cyprus," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 1553-1574, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:20:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10668-017-9953-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10668-017-9953-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. B. Bonaccorso & I. Bordi & A. Cancelliere & G. Rossi & A. Sutera, 2003. "Spatial Variability of Drought: An Analysis of the SPI in Sicily," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 17(4), pages 273-296, August.
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