Long-term spatio-temporal drought variability in Turkey

İsmail Dabanlı*, Ashok K. Mishra, Zekai Şen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The spatio-temporal variability of drought is presented by evaluating homogeneously distributed 250 station records from 1931 to 2010 for 80 years’ duration in Turkey. The drought analysis is implemented using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in terms of SPI-1, SPI-3, SPI-6, SPI-6AS (SPI-6 April to September) and SPI-12. The principle component analysis (PCA) is applied to SPI time series to identify spatial and temporal drought patterns. SPI time series are classified into two groups (1st group: SPI-1, SPI-3, SPI-6AS; and 2nd group: SPI-6 and SPI-12) according to the similarity in spatial drought patterns. SPI-3 and SPI-12 are selected as representative members of each group for spatio-temporal analysis. A relationship among correlation area (An), correlation coefficient (CC), principle component numbers (Fn) and total variances explained (Vexp) are investigated for identifying four well-defined drought vulnerable homogeneous regions over Turkey mainland. Mean percentages of extreme, severe, and moderate drought areas are calculated as 3.13% (2.81%), 3.75% (4.06%) and 7.19% (7.50%) for SPI-3 (SPI-12) based on 80 years in all drought vulnerable regions. Spectral characteristics of drought are also investigated based on fast Fourier transform (FFT) method. It is observed that while southeastern and western parts of Turkey are more stable due to the highly-correlated variances of spatial patterns; central parts and few pockets in northern areas of Turkey are less stable regions because of the low-correlated variance scores (below 10%). Furthermore, the impact of extreme phases of the ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) on droughts in four drought regions over Turkey is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-792
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


This study is supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) with grand number 1059B141501044. The corresponding author would like to thank TUBITAK for its research support at Clemson University. Also, the authors wish to thank Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) for the supply of long-term monthly mean climatic variables.

FundersFunder number
Turkish State Meteorological Service
Clemson University
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


    • Drought
    • ENSO
    • Principal component analysis
    • Spectral analysis
    • SPI
    • Turkey


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