Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Lei Meng

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregorg Veeck

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Droughts have become one of the crucial hazards affecting Xinjiang, Northwest China, the biggest agricultural province and an important area for the grazing husbandry industry in China. Investigations about droughts in Xinjiang have been conducted from various perspectives by previous researchers. However, there are very few studies that focus on drought persistence and seasonal drought frequency. These issues are particularly important as they influence water resource management and forecasting, crop yields, agricultural development and energy consumption. Seasonal drought persistence describes how well drought conditions persist from one season to next season and is expressed as probability of persistence. In this study, monthly precipitation from 50 weather stations will be converted to the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI).Seasonal drought frequency is calculated as the total number of years in which drought occurs in each climate division. A logistic regression model is employed to further investigate drought persistence from one season to other, and the model outcome is the log odds ratio of drought occurrence in the given season for any given location. The expected outcome from the logistic regression model will help to improve the operational decision making for water resource management, hydropower operation, irrigation planning and herding activities in Xinjiang.

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