Analysis of Drought Indicators

by D. F. Kibler, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,
G. L. Shaffer, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,
E. L. White, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources currently monitors five parameters in its regional water supply management program. These are: (1) accumulated precipitation deficit; (2) groundwater level; (3) streamflow; (4) reservoir storage level; and (5) Palmer hydrologic drought index. This paper summarizes a recent research project to examine the historical record of each indicator and to evaluate the sensitivity and consistency of the indicators, together with their associated trigger points. Four phases of the project are identified as: (1) data collection and fill-in; (2) frequency analysis of raw indicators and adjustment of triggering criteria; (3) time-series modeling to establish lead-lag structure and box-plots to determine triggering consistency; (4) comparison of revised triggering criteria during periods of known drought.

Subject Headings: Droughts | Water resources | Water supply | Parameters (statistics) | Resource management | Water level | Groundwater | Streamflow | Pennsylvania | United States

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