Investigating the role of catchments as nonlinear filters for the propagation of droughts in the US

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 13:40
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The propagation of droughts originates from abnormal atmospheric variables followed by the depletion in soil moisture and ground water, which results in a cascade of meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological droughts. Understanding this process is challenging due to complex interaction between climate and catchment variables. We propose using a mathematical framework based on the Budyko equation for over 200 natural catchments across the contiguous United States. Specifically, we will examine the relative impacts of 1) the monthly water cycle, 2) the monthly energy cycle, 3) their interactions, and 4) landscape properties such as vegetation, soils and aquifer characteristics on the three types of droughts. We will verify hypotheses on how these factors play a role in drought propagation via their effects on the catchment monthly water balance from a co-evolution perspective.

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