Drought Dynamics in the Canadian River Basin, United States

Date

2023-12

Authors

Bose, Priyanjali

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Abstract

The Great Plains of North America provide a wealth of natural resources, but their availability is being increasingly stressed by intensifying drought. Water and ecological resources have suffered, particularly in the southernmost major river basin—the Canadian River Basin. Despite its socioeconomic importance, there has yet to be a comprehensive study of drought dynamics for the entire basin. This thesis attempts to bridge this knowledge gap by doing a sub-basin-based analysis of three forms of drought affecting the entire basin from 1940 to 2022. I analyzed spatial and temporal characteristics of meteorological, hydrological, and ecological drought in the basin. The long-term distributions, along with the short-term variability of each type of drought, are captured here. This study also sheds light on the nuances of regional spread of different types of drought events during the time of investigation. The dependence between the factors of influence and severity of the underlying drought is measured. Additionally, the inter-relations between the different types of droughts, with respect to their timing and duration is quantified in this study. Overall, looking at the drought dynamics via several lens provides the reader with a holistic view of what has occurred in this region in recorded history. Such a comparative distribution analysis on the region’s history, performed at a granular level coupled with drought hotspot detection, will provide a holistic picture of the stresses experienced by the region. With climate change intensifying, such distributions will likely occur in other regions of the world, and this study’s findings will help policy makers plan early for drought mitigation.

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Keywords

drought, precipitation, SPI, daily river flow, extreme-low flow, spatio-temporal pattern

Citation

Bose, P. (2023). Drought dynamics in the Canadian River Basin, United States (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

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