Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Drought analysis in Antakya-Kahramanmaraş Graben, Turkey


The most parts of the Earth experience precipitation variability as a part of their normal climates over both short- and long-time periods. These variations of precipitation will have unpredictable and perhaps unexpectedly extreme consequences (such as drought and flood) with respect to frequency and intensity for many regions of the Earth. Because of high precipitation fluctuations, the Mediterranean region is also the areas of the world sensitive to precipitation changes which often involve frequent drought conditions in Turkey. In this study, drought conditions at annual, seasonal and monthly time scales over the period of 1975–2010 were examined for Antakya-Kahramanmaraş Graben which is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Application of appropriate measures to analyze and monitor droughts is recognized as a major challenge to scientists involved in atmospheric studies. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and cumulative deviation curve techniques were used to determine drought conditions. Results indicated that the study area presented a cyclic pattern of variations with alternating drier and wetter years. From analyses of annual, seasonal and monthly drought series it can be seen that precipitation characteristic of the area is changing. By the results, apparent wet and dry periods can be distinguished. This study also indicated that precipitation totals of winter, spring and summer seasons were slightly decreased during the study period. Drought frequency was increased especially for the northern part of the area in the last ten years. Drought periods were divided into 1982–1985, 1999–2002 and 2004–2008, respectively. According to our analyses, the time scale of 1999–2002 was the driest period in the most of the graben area. The study area, which covers agriculturally important fertile alluvial plains, will experience increasing pressure on its water resources because of its growing population and industry, ever-larger demands for intensive agricultural activities, and frequent drought events.

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