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Quantifying Drought Characteristics in Complex Climate and Scarce Data Regions of Afghanistan

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Geosciences, 13(12), 355, 2023

Url :

Campus : Coimbatore

School : School of Engineering

Department : Civil

Year : 2023

Abstract : Droughts cause critical and major risk to ecosystems, agriculture, and social life. While attempts have been made globally to understand drought characteristics, data scarcity in developing countries often challenges detailed analysis, including climatic, environmental, and social aspects. Therefore, this study developed a framework to investigate regional drought analysis (RDA) using regional drought intensity-duration-frequency (RD-IDF) curves and regional drought risk assessment (RDRA) based on the drought hazard indicator (DHI) and drought vulnerability indicator (DVI) for scarce data regions in Afghanistan. The drought characteristics were analyzed using the regional standardized-precipitation-index (SPI), and standardized precipitation-deficit distribution (SPDD). Further, L-moment statistics were used to classify different homogenous regions based on regional frequency analysis (RFA). The historical monthly precipitation data from 23 rainfall stations for the years 1970 to 2016 were collected from the Ministry of Water and Energy of Afghanistan. Based on the analysis performed, the area was classified into six homogeneous regions R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, and R-6. The drought was very consistent—almost 50% of the years—irrespective of the homogeneous region classified. R-4, located in the northeast of the country, had a one-year extreme drought with high resiliency and low risk to drought compared to other regions. As R-1, R-3 and R-5 are located in the southwest, center and southeast parts of Afghanistan, they experience moderate drought with low resiliency and high drought risk due to long period of droughts. Moreover, the uniform distribution of precipitation deficit (Dm), was less in arid climate regions. In contrast, the semi-arid climate regions showed higher values of Dm. Furthermore, in the results in all the regions, the IDF curves showed a high drought intensity with increasing drought return periods. In contrast, the intensity significantly decreased when the time scale increased, and fewer were enhanced within the increasing drought return period. However, the outcome of this study may contain essential information for end users to make spatially advanced planning for drought effect mitigation in Afghanistan.

Cite this Research Publication : Dost, R., Soundharajan, B., Kasiviswanathan, K. S., & Patidar, S. (2023). Quantifying Drought Characteristics in Complex Climate and Scarce Data Regions of Afghanistan. Geosciences, 13(12), 355. DOI:

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