PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 758-767.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.06.009

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Hydrological and meteorological droughts in the Red River Basin of Yunnan Province based on SPEI and SDI Indices

Yungang LI(), Jiaonan HE, Xue LI   

  1. Yunnan Key Lab of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
  • Online:2016-06-23 Published:2016-06-23
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301099, No.41561063;Applied Basic Research Program of Yunnan Province, No.2012FD007


Based on the monthly precipitation and temperature data from 1961-2012 at 43 meteorological stations and discharge data from 1956-2013 at two hydrological stations on the Red River, we analyzed the variation of hydrological and meteorological droughts by using Standard Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and Streamflow Drought Index (SDI). The results show that: (1) Meteorological droughts presented an increasing trend at the annual scale in 1961-2012. At the seasonal scale, a wetting trend was detected in the spring in most areas, and a drying trend was observed in the summer, the autumn, and the winter seasons. Regional differences have been found in seasonal drought frequency, and high frequency droughts occurred in the spring and the winter. The influence areas of drought decreased in the spring. In contrast, increased trend was found in the summer, the autumn, and the winter. (2) Hydrological drought indicated an increasing trend in 1956-2013. There were more hydrological droughts during 1958-1963, 1975-1982, 1987-1993, 2003-2006, and 2009-2013. Hydrological droughts occurred most frequently in the last decade. (3) Analysis of the relationship between meteorological and hydrological drought indices shows that the occurrence of a hydrological drought event lagged a meteorological drought event by a variation of 1 to 8 months. The duration, magnitude, and intensity of meteorological droughts were well close to the characteristics of hydrological drought events. The most important factor that caused hydrological drought in the Red River Basin was meteorological drought.

Key words: meteorological drought, hydrological drought, Standard Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), Streamflow Drought Index(SDI), Red River Basin, Yunnan Province