Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Precipitation Data Over a Densely Gaged Experimental Watershed

by M. H. Nichols, Southwest Watershed Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
L. J. Lane, Southwest Watershed Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
C. Manetsch, Southwest Watershed Research Cent, Tucson, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


Historical precipitation data from the densely gaged Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed in southeastern Arizona are used to quantify watershed-scale properties of precipitation. Daily, seasonal and annual values of precipitation are analyzed using linear trend analysis, spectral density analysis, and interstation correlation. The time series analyses are used to describe temporal properties of precipitation at individual raingages and the interstation correlation analyses are used to evaluate the spatial dependence structure of the precipitation data. The particular period of record chosen for linear trend analysis greatly influences the results. The variation in mean annual precipitation over the watershed is greater from year to year than the variation of long term mean annual precipitation between gages. Daily, seasonal daily, and annual correlations decrease with distance, although they never fall below the 99% significance level for distances up to 20 km. This is in contrast to individual storm rainfall correlation-distance relations on Walnut Gulch that showed correlations were non-significant beyond approximately 5 km.

Subject Headings: Spatial analysis | Data analysis | Precipitation | Spatial data | Watersheds | Linear analysis | Seasonal variations | Correlation | Arizona | United States

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