Severity-duration-frequency analysis of droughts and wet periods in Greece
There is an escalation in the frequency and severity of extreme events due to a number of environmental and/or anthropogenic factors. Droughts and exceptionally wet periods are regional phenomena, which are considered as major environmental extremes, especially in semiarid regions of the world, such as Greece. The development of severity-duration-frequency (SDF) relationships of droughts and wet periods over Greece is important in contemporary hydroclimatic and agroclimatic design and planning in the country. The Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is used for a quantitative description of droughts and wet periods. Statistical tests and visual inspection indicate that the EV1 (Gumbel) frequency distribution fits satisfactorily all the identified durations of droughts and wet periods, respectively. Moreover, the SDF curves show that decreasing frequencies (i.e. increasing recurrence intervals) correspond to increasing severities of droughts and wet periods, respectively. The developed SDF relationships are used to produce tables and isoseverity maps of Greece for each identified duration and all the selected return periods or frequencies, which constitute an essential aid for design purposes. The results of the study indicate that there is a decreasing pattern of the severities of droughts and wet periods from west to east and that, for similar durations and return periods, the wet spells are, in general, more extreme than droughts in Greece.