What is it about?

A methodology based on the fractal properties of rainfall has been applied to obtain the intensity-duration-frequency, IDF, curves for 100 pluviometric Spanish stations over the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands from their daily precipitation series. The scaling behaviour of maximum rainfall intensities has been investigated and simple scaling has resulted suitable. This methodology has been verified in three emblematic observatories with available sub-daily registers and current known generalized IDF relationships: the Fabra Observatory of Barcelona, the Ebre Observatory near Tortosa (Tarragona) and the Retiro Observatory of Madrid. Despite some general concordance with the mean annual rainfall distribution over Spain, the spatial distribution of the scaling parameter found for the 100 stations shows some discrepancies in diverse areas probably due to the influence of other features, as the contribution of convective rainfall to total precipitation, on the characteristic rainfall pattern in these areas.

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Why is it important?

This study is important because it explores the possibility of inferring sub-daily precipitation data from daily registers, which are often the only available, considering a simple scaling approximation. This methodology has been verified in three emblematic Spanish observatories with very long sub-daily registers: the Fabra Observatory of Barcelona, the Ebre Observatory near Tortosa (Tarragona) and the Retiro Observatory of Madrid. The study shows the obtained spatial distribution of the simple scaling exponent over the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands in order that the scaling methodology could be applied in any location of this area.

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This page is a summary of: A study of the scaling properties of rainfall in spain and its appropriateness to generate intensity-duration-frequency curves from daily records, International Journal of Climatology, April 2016, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/joc.4738.
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