GIS analysis for vulnerability assessment of drought in Khuzestan province in Iran using standardized precipitation index (SPI)

Document Type: Full Article


Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, Shieaz University, Shiraz, I. R. Iran


The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a widely used drought index to provide good estimations of the intensity, magnitude and spatial extent of droughts. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial pattern of drought by SPI index. In this paper, patterns of drought hazard in Khuzestan are evaluated according to the data of 17 weather stations during data recording. The influenced zone of each station was specified by the Thiessen method. Then, it was attempted to make a new model of drought hazard using GIS. Three criteria for drought were studied and considered to define areas of vulnerability. Drought hazard criteria used in the present model included: maximum severity of drought in the period, trend of drought, and the maximum number of sequential arid years. Each of the vulnerability indicators was mapped. These maps along with a final hazard map were classified into 5 hazard classes of drought included none, slight, moderate, severe and very severe classes. The final drought vulnerability map was prepared by overlaying three criteria maps in GIS, and the final hazard classes were defined on the basis of hazard scores, which were determined according to the means of the main indicators. The final vulnerability map showed that severe hazard areas (29% of the province) which were observed in the northern and central parts of study area are much more widespread than areas under the slight hazard class. Nevertheless, approximately more than half (64%) of the province area was determined to be moderate hazard class for drought.


Article Title [Persian]

تحلیل سامانه اطلاعات جغرافیایی به منظور ارزیابی آسیب پذیری خشکسالی دراستان خوزستان ایران با استفاده از شاخص بارش استاندارد

Authors [Persian]

  • مسعود مسعودی
  • مریم الهایی سحر
گروه مهندسی منابع طبیعی و محیط زیست، دانشکده کشاورزی، دانشگاه شیراز، ج. ا. ایران
Abstract [Persian]

شاخص خشکسالی بارش استاندارد بطور گسترده‌ای برای برآورد مناسب شدت، بزرگی و محدوده مکانی خشکسالی‌ها بکار گرفته می‌شود. هدف از این مطالعه، تجزیه و تحلیل الگوی مکانی خشکسالی با استفاده از شاخص SPI بود. در این مقاله، الگوهای خطر خشکسالی در استان خوزستان با توجه به داده‌های 17 ایستگاه هواشناسی مورد بررسی قرار گرفت. محدوده تحت تاثیر هر ایستگاه با استفاده از روش تیسن مشخص شد. سپس نسبت به تهیه یک مدل جدید خطر خشکسالی با استفاده از GIS مبادرت شد. سه معیار خشکسالی برای تعریف مناطق آسیب پذیر، مطالعه و در نظر گرفته شد. معیارهای خطر خشکسالی که در مدل فعلی استفاده شد شامل حداکثر شدت خشکسالی در دوره، روند خشکسالی، و حداکثر تعداد پی‌در‌پی سال‌های خشک است. هر یک از شاخص‌های آسیب‌پذیری نقشه‌سازی شدند و  همچنین این نقشه‌ها به‌عنوان یک نقشه خطر نهایی به 5 کلاس خطر خشکسالی شامل بدون خطر، خطر خفیف، متوسط، شدید و بسیار شدید طبقه بندی شدند. نقشه نهایی آسیب‌پذیری خشکسالی با تلفیق سه نقشه معیار در GIS  تهیه شد و طبقات خطر نهایی بر اساس امتیاز خطر که با توجه شاخص‌های اصلی تعیین شد، مشخص شدند. نقشه آسیب‌پذیری نهایی نشان می‌دهد که مناطق با خطر شدید (29 درصد از استان) که در بخش‌های شمالی و مرکزی منطقه مورد مطالعه مشاهده می‌‌شود،  بسیار گسترده@تر از مناطق تحت کلاس خطر کم است. اگرچه تقریبا بیش از نیمی از استان (64٪) در کلاس خطر متوسط ​​خشکسالی تعیین شد.

Keywords [Persian]

  • خشکسالی
  • سامانه اطلاعات جغرافیایی
  • نقشه خطر
  • خوزستان
  • شاخص بارش استاندارد

Alley, W. M. (1984). The Palmer Drought Severity Index: limitations and assumptions. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, 23, 1100-1109.

Asrari, E., & Masoudi, M. (2010). Hazard assessment of climate changes, a case study area: Fars Province, Iran. Pollution Research, 29, 275-281.

Asrari, E., Masoudi, M., & Hakimi, S. S.  (2012). GIS overlay analysis for hazard assessment of drought in Iran using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Journal of Ecology and Field Biology, 35, 323-329.

Austin, R. B., Cantero- Martínez, C., Arrúe, J. L., Playán, E., & Cano-Marcellán, P. (1998).Yield-rainfall relationships in cereal cropping systems in the Ebro river valley of Spain. European Journal of Agronomy, 8, 239-248.

Beran, M. A., & Rodier, J. A. (1985). Hydrological Aspects of      Drought. Studies and Reports in Hydrology, 39; Geneva:    UNESCO-WMO.

Bonaccorso, B., Bordi, I., Cancelliere, A., Rossi, G., & Sutera, A. (2003). Spatial variability of drought: an analysis of the SPI in Sicily. Water Resources Management, 17, 273-296.

Bruce, J. P. (1994). Natural disaster reduction and global change. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,75, 1831-1835.

DeGaetano, A. T. (1999). A temporal comparison of drought impacts and responses in the New York City metropolitan area. Climatic Change, 42, 539-560.

Domonkos, P. (2003). Recent precipitation trends in Hungary in the context of larger scale climatic changes. Natural Hazards, 29, 255-271.

Dracup, J. A., Lee, K. S., & Paulson, EG. (1980). On the definition of droughts. Water Resources Research, 1, 297-302.

Edwards, D. C., & McKee, T. B. (1997). Characteristics of 20th century drought in the united states at multiple time scales. Atmospheric Science, Paper No. 634. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Ensafi Moghaddam, T. (2007). An investigation and assessment of climatological indices and determination of suitable index for climatological droughts in the Salt Lake Basin of Iran. Iranian Journal of Range and Desert Research, 14, 271-288.

Evans, J., & Geerken, R. (2004). Discrimination between climate and human-induced dryland degradation. Journal of Arid Environment, 57, 535-554.

Feiznia, S., Gooya, A. N., Ahmadi, H., & Azarnivand, H. (2001). Investigation on desertification factors in Hossein-Abad Mish Mast plain and a proposal for a regional model. Journal of Biaban, 6, 1-14.

Flannigan, M. D., & Harrington, J. B. (1988). A study of the relation of meteorological variables to monthly provincial area burned by wildfire in Canada (1953-1980). Journal of Applied Meteorology, 27, 441-452.

Guttman, N. B. (1998). Comparing the Palmer drought index and the Standardized Precipitation Index. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 34, 113-121.

Guttman, N. B.,Wallis, J. R., & Hosking, J. R. M. (1992). Spatial comparability of the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Water Resources Bulletin,28, 1111-1119.

Hayes, M. J., Svoboda, M. D. Wilhite, D. A., & Vanyarkho, OV. (1999). Monitoring the 1996 drought using the Standardized Precipitation Index. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 80, 429-438.

Heim, R. R. (2002). A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 83, 1149-1165.

 Karl, T. R. (1983). Some spatial characteristics of drought duration in the United States. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 22, 1356-1366.

Komuscu, A. U. (1999). Using the SPI to analyze spatial and temporal patterns of drought in Turkey. Drought Network News, 11, 7-13.

Lana, X., Serra, C., & Burgueño, A. (2001). Patterns of monthly rainfall shortage and excess in terms of the Standardized Precipitation Index for Catalonia (NE Spain). International Journal of Climatology, 21, 1669-1691.

Leilah, A. A., & Al-Khateeb, SA. (2005). Statistical analysis of wheat yield under drought conditions. Journal of Arid Environment, 61, 483-496.

Masoudi, M. (2010). Risk assessment and remedial measures of land degradation, in parts of southern Iran. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP). 

Masoudi, M., & Afrough, E. (2011). Analyzing trends of precipitation for humid, normal and drought classes using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), a case of study: Fars Province, Iran. International Journal of Agri Science , 1, 85-96.

Masoudi, M., Patwardhan, A. M., & Gore, S. D. (2007). Risk assessment of lowering of ground water table using GIS for the Qareh Aghaj Sub Basin, Southern Iran. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 70, 861-872.

McKee, TBN., Doesken, N. J., & Kleist, J. (1993). The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time scales. Eight Conference on Applied Climatology, 1993 Jan 17-22, Anaheim, CA, pp. 179-184.

Min, SK., Kwon, W. T., Park, E. H., & Choi, Y. (2003). Spatial and temporal comparisons of droughts over Korea with East Asia. International Journal of Climatology,23, 223-233.

Morales Gil, A., Olcina Cantos, J., & Rico Amorós, A. M. (2000). Diferentes percepciones de la sequía en España: adaptación, catastrofismo e intentos de corrección. Investigations Geograficas, 23, 5-46.

Nicholson, S. E., Tucker, C. J., & Ba, M. B. (1998). Desertification, drought, and surface vegetation: an example from the west African Sahel. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79, 815-829.

Noruzi, R. (2007). Assessment and preparation of critical condition map of ground water resources using GIS. MSc Thesis, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.

Obasi, G. O. P. (1994). WMO‘s role in the international decade for natural disaster reduction. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 75, 1655-1661.

Oladipo, E. O. (1985). A comparative performance analysis of three meteorological drought indices. International Journal of Climatology, 5, 655-664.

Palmer, W. C. (1965). Meteorological Droughts. Research Paper 45. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce.

Pausas, JG. (2004). Changes in fire and climate in the eastern Iberian Peninsula (Mediterranean basin). Climatic Change, 63, 337-350.

Pickup, G. (1998). Desertification and climate change: the Australian perspective. Climate Research, 11, 51-63.

Raziei, T., Daneshkar Arasteh, P.,  Akhtari, B., & Saghafian, R. (2007). Investigation of meteorological droughts in the Sistan and Balouchestan Province, using the Standardized Precipitation Index and Markov Chain Model. Iran-Water Resources Research, 3, 25-35.

Redmond, KT. (2002). The depiction of drought. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 83, 1143-1147.

 Sarhadi, A., Soltani, S., & Modarres, R. (2008). The analysis of drought extension over Isfahan province based on four drought indices. Iranian Journal of Natural Resources, 61, 555-570.

Svoboda, M., Le Compte, D., Hayes, M. J, Heim, R., Gleason, K., Angel, J., Rippey, B., Tinker, R., Palecki, M., Stooksbury, D., Miskus, D., & Stevens, S. (2002). The drought monitor. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 83,1181-1190.

Tsakiris, G., & Vangelis, H. (2004). Towards a drought watch system based on spatial SPI. Water Resources Management, 18, 1-12.

Vicente-Serrano, SM., & Beguería, S. (2003). Estimating extreme dry-spell risk in the middle Ebro valley (Northeastern Spain): a comparative analysis of partial duration series with a General Pareto distribution and Annual maxima series with a Gumbel distribution. International Journal of Climatology, 23, 1103-1118.

Wilhite, DA., & Glantz, MH. (1985). Understanding the drought phenomenon: the role of definitions. Water International, 10, 111-120.

Wilhite, DA. (2000). Drought as a natural hazard: concepts and definitions. Drought: A Global Assessment, 1, 3-18.

Wu, H., Hayes, M. J. Wilhite, D. A., & Svoboda, M. D. (2005). The effect of the length of record on the Standardized Precipitation Index calculation. International Journal of Climatology, 25, 505-520.

Zareiee, A. R. (2009a). Climate changes in Iran. M. Sc. Seminar Reported in Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. 

Zareiee, A. R. (2009b.) Vulnearibility Assessment of drought using GIS in Qareh Aghaj Basin, Southern Iran. M. Sc thesis, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. 

Zehtabian, G., & Jafari, R. (2002). Evaluation of water resources degradation in Kashan area using desertification model. Journal of Ecology, 30, 19-30.