Bivariate Drought Characterization of Two Contrasting Climatic Regions in India Using Copula

Arya Sajeev, S. Deb Barma, Amai Mahesha, Jenq Tzong Shiau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to construct the multiple time-scale joint distributions of drought duration and severity using two-dimensional copulas and compare the drought characteristics in India's two contrasting climate regions: the arid Rajasthan and humid, tropical Kerala. The drought occurrences were defined by the standardized precipitation index (SPI) with a threshold below -0.8 at time scales of 3, 6, 12, and 24 months for 1900-2016. Significant correlations were noted between the drought severity and drought duration in both regions. The Clayton copula gave a better fit than other copulas for modeling the dependence among the observed drought duration and severity. The results indicate that the probability of short-term droughts (SPI-3 and SPI-6) is more significant than those of long-term droughts (SPI-12 and SPI-24) for an identical drought event in both regions. Also, the probability of severe drought events with greater duration and severity for long-term droughts (SPI-12 and SPI-24) is higher in Kerala than that in western Rajasthan. For all the time-scale SPIs, the conditional probability of drought severity for a given duration exceeding a threshold showed an increasing trend in both regions. Furthermore, the conditional probability of the drought duration given the severity for short-term droughts is greater than that of the long-term droughts for the same drought event. For short-term droughts, the conditional return period of an identical drought event is lower in Kerala than in western Rajasthan. In contrast, the conditional return period of long-term droughts is lower in western Rajasthan. Additionally, copula-based nonexceedance conditional distributions for the major crops were established based on rainfall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05020005
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Bivariate Drought Characterization of Two Contrasting Climatic Regions in India Using Copula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this