CR 26:5-15 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr026005

Drought patterns in the Mediterranean area: the Valencia region (eastern Spain)

Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano1,*, José Carlos González-Hidalgo1, Martín de Luis2, José Raventós3

1Departamento de Geografía y Ordenación del Territorio, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona, PO Box 210058, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
3Departamento de Ecología, Universidad de Alicante, 03080 Alicante, Spain

ABSTRACT: We studied drought patterns in the Valencia region between 1951 and 2000 using 95 monthly precipitation series and the standardized precipitation index (SPI). The general evolution of drought was obtained by principal component analysis. The spatial patterns of the most significant components did not overlap. We also found differences in the frequency, duration and intensity of drought between areas. Drought increased significantly in the mid to northern area, whereas in the rest of the region the spatial patterns were more complex. Variability seems to be the main characteristic related to local factors. The results of these subregional analyses show that great caution should be exercised when applying global output results at the subregional level when such extreme events are managed.

KEY WORDS: Drought · Spatial patterns · Precipitation · Standardized precipitation index · Principal component analysis · Western Mediterranean · Valencia region

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