Climate Change and Disasters

Drought hazard assessment and spatial characteristics analysis in China

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101 China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. College of Global Change and Earth System, Beijing 100875, China;
    4. Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Civil Affairs &|Ministry of Education, the People’s Republic of China, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Received date: 2009-12-30

  Revised date: 2010-04-10

  Online published: 2011-04-15

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40601091; No.40801216; National Key Technology R&D Program of China, No.2006BAD20B02; No.2006BAC18B06


Based on the monthly precipitation data for the period 1960-2008 from 616 rainfall stations and the phenology data of main grain crops, the spatial characteristics of drought hazard in China were investigated at a 10 km×10 km grid-cell scale using a GIS-based drought hazard assessment model, which was constructed by using 3-month Standard Precipitation Index (SPI). Drought-prone areas and heavy drought centers were also identified in this study. The spatial distribution of drought hazard in China shows apparent east-west difference, with the eastern part of China being far more hazardous than the western part. High hazard areas are common in the eastern and central parts of Inner Mongolian Plateau, the central part of Northeast China Plain, the northern part of Heilongjiang, the southeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the central and southern parts of Loess Plateau, the southern part of North China Plain, the northern and southern parts of Yangtze River Plain, and Yunnan- Guizhou Plateau. Furthermore, obvious differences in drought hazard were found both within and between different agricultural zonings.

Cite this article

HE Bin, Lü Aifeng, WU Jianjun, ZHAO Lin, LIU Ming . Drought hazard assessment and spatial characteristics analysis in China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2011 , 21(2) : 235 -249 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-011-0841-x


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