Nonparametric approach for bivariate drought characterization using palmer drought index

Tae Woong Kim, Juan B. Valdés, Chulsang Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


A drought is usually represented by duration and severity, and may last several months or years. Multidimensional characteristics of a drought make univariate analysis unable to reveal the significant relationship among drought properties. Furthermore, historical records tend to be too short to fully evaluate drought characteristics. A practical method was proposed in this study to estimate the bivariate return period of droughts based on the use of synthetic data to overcome the above considerations. The bivariate return period of droughts is dependent on the drought interarrival time and the joint distribution of drought properties. A nonparametric method was employed in this study to estimate the joint distribution of drought properties. The historical droughts in the Conchos River Basin, Mexico were evaluated based on their return period estimated by the proposed method. The proposed method allowed a better understanding of the joint probabilistic behavior of droughts beyond the limitation of the univariate/parametric frequency analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hydrologic Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar 1



  • Droughts
  • Frequency analysis
  • Water shortage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Cite this