Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (6): 673-693.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1292-1

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A graded index for evaluating precipitation heterogeneity in China

LIU Yonglin1(),YAN Junping1,*(),CEN Minyi1,2,FANG Qunsheng3,LIU Zhengyao1,LI Yingjie1   

  1. 1. Tourism and Environment College, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    2. Department of Health Geography, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610000, China
  • Received:2015-10-08 Online:2016-06-20 Published:2016-07-08
  • Contact: YAN Junping;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171090;National Social Science Foundation of China, No.14AZD094, No.14XSK019


Precipitation heterogeneity has a nontrivial influence on human life. Many studies have analyzed precipitation heterogeneity but none have proposed a systematic graded index for its evaluation, and therefore, its true characteristics have not been expressed. After comparisons of various methods, the precipitation concentration degree (PCD) method was selected to study precipitation heterogeneity. In addition to the PCD, normal distribution functions, cumulative frequencies, and percentiles were used to establish a graded index for evaluating precipitation heterogeneity. A comprehensive evaluation of precipitation heterogeneity was performed, and its spatiotemporal variation in China from 1960 to 2013 was analyzed. The results indicated that (1) seven categories of precipitation heterogeneity were identified (high centralization, moderate centralization, mild centralization, normal, mild dispersion, moderate dispersion, and high dispersion) and (2) during the study period, the precipitation in more parts of China tended to be normal or dispersed, which is beneficial to human activities.

Key words: heterogeneity, precipitation concentration degree, evaluation index, comprehensive evaluation, China