Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (11): 2358-2370.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201911012

• Climate Change and Ecological Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A method to identify the drought-flood transition based on the meteorological drought index

YANG Jiawei,CHEN Hua(),HOU Yukun,ZHAO Ying,CHEN Qihui,XU Chongyu,CHEN Jie   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2018-12-17 Revised:2019-08-10 Online:2019-11-25 Published:2019-11-01
  • Contact: CHEN Hua
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program(2017YFA0603702);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51339004)


A new method was proposed to identify drought-flood transition events by combining a drought-flood index (Standard Weighted Average Precipitation, SWAP) with the multi-threshold theory. This method was tested in the Yangtze River Basin using daily precipitation data from 212 stations for the 1961-2017 period. With this method, the meteorological drought and rainstorm flood in the representative station were identified, and representative regional drought-flood transition events and spatiotemporal patterns of drought-flood transition were analyzed. The results show that: SWAP is an effective index to identify the meteorological drought and rainstorm flood. K-means clustering can classify similar drought-flood transition events into one cluster. The drought event plays a dominate role in drought-flood transition events for the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin in 2011, and the drought lasts for a much longer duration than the flood during the drought-flood transition event. Drought-flood transition events show an obvious regional pattern for the Yangtze River Basin with low frequency for the upper reaches and high frequency for the middle and lower reaches. In addition, the drought-flood transition frequency presents an increasing trend recently for most parts of the Yangtze River Basin. Overall, the results imply that the proposed method combining meteorological drought index with multi-threshold theory is capable of identifying drought-flood transition events, and can be further used for predicting drought-flood transition events.

Key words: drought-flood transition, Standard Weighted Average Precipitation, multi-threshold theory, clustering