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Trends in extreme rainfall over ecologically sensitive Western Ghats and coastal regions of Karnataka: an observational assessment

  • Vinay Doranalu Chandrashekar
  • Amba Shetty
Original Paper

Abstract

Rainfall is one of the pivotal climatic variables, which influence spatio-temporal patterns of water availability. In this study, we have attempted to understand the interannual long-term trend analysis of the daily rainfall events of ≥ 2.5 mm and rainfall events of extreme threshold, over the Western Ghats and coastal region of Karnataka. High spatial resolution (0.25° × 0.25°) daily gridded rainfall data set of Indian Meteorological Department was used for this study. Thirty-eight grid points in the study area was selected to analyze the daily precipitation for 113 years (1901–2013). Grid points were divided into two zones: low land (exposed to the sea and low elevated area/coastal region) and high land (interior from the sea and high elevated area/Western Ghats). The indices were selected from the list of climate change indices recommended by ETCCDI and are based on annual rainfall total (RR), yearly 1-day maximum rainfall, consecutive wet days (≥ 2.5 mm), Simple Daily Intensity Index (SDII), annual frequency of very heavy rainfall (≥ 100 mm), frequency of very heavy rainfall (≥ 65–100 mm), moderate rainfall (≥ 2.5–65 mm), frequency of medium rainfall (≥ 40–65 mm), and frequency of low rainfall (≥ 20–40 mm). Mann-Kendall test was applied to the nine rainfall indices, and Theil-Sen estimator perceived the nature and the magnitude of slope in rainfall indices. The results show contrasting trends in the extreme rainfall indices in low land and high land regions. The changes in daily rainfall events in the low land region primarily indicate statistically significant positive trends in the annual total rainfall, yearly 1-day maximum rainfall, SDII, frequency of very heavy rainfall, and heavy rainfall as well as medium rainfall events. Furthermore, the overall annual rainfall strongly correlated with all the rainfall indices in both regions, especially with indices that represent heavy rainfall events which is responsible for the total increase of rainfall.

Keywords

Coastal region Western Ghats India Trend analysis Extreme rainfall Karnataka 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I, author Vinay D C, gratefully acknowledge and express my sincere thanks to Bhupendra Bahadur Singh, Scientist, Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India, for the encouragement and support in carrying out the research work and their valuable suggestions for the improvement of this manuscript. Thanks are also due to two anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments have greatly improved the revised manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Mechanics and HydraulicsNational Institute of Technology KarnatakaMangaluruIndia

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