Spatial and Temporal Variability of Drought and Precipitation Using Cluster Analysis in Xinjiang, Northwest China
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Analyses of drought and precipitation require long-term historical data and reasonable drought index to ensure reliable monitoring and prediction, especially for the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where is sensitive and vulnerable to drought disasters. Drought characteristic was expressed using the observational precipitation data and calculated precipitation threshold at 105 meteorological stations from 1979 to 2014. The results showed that the variation of drought and precipitation was not spatially uniform. Analysis in sub-areas was conducted based on mutli-statistical methods. The historical drought and precipitation situation in Xinjiang is better characterized by three clusters. Cluster 1 is the driest, cluster 2 has a clear increasing trend of precipitation, while cluster 3 is the wettest with the mean annual precipitation approximates to 300 mm. In addition, the precipitation concentration and distribution is becoming uniform, there is a faster rate of increasing precipitation in cool-season rather than in warm-season. The results provide critical support for the drought disasters management and mitigation, it also provide a base for in-depth investigation on the possible mechanisms of regional drought.
KeywordsCluster analysis Drought Precipitation threshold Xinjiang
This research was supported by the China Clean Development Mechanism Fund (2014108, 2014092), the National key research and development program (2017YFC0406002). We are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on improving the manuscript.
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Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.
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