Author(s): A Loukas, L Vasiliades
The temporal and spatial characteristics of meteorological drought are investigated to provide a framework for sustainable water resources management in the region of Thessaly, Greece. Thessaly is the most intensely cultivated and productive agricultural plain region in Greece. Thessaly's total area is about 13700 km2 and it is surrounded by mountains and traversed by Pinios River. Using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as an indicator of drought severity, the characteristics of droughts are examined. Thessaly was divided into 212 grid-cells of 8 x 8 km and monthly precipitation data for the period 1960–1993 from 50 meteorological stations were used for global interpolation of precipitation using spatial co-ordinates and elevation data. Drought severity was assessed from the estimated gridded SPI values at multiple time scales. Firstly, the temporal and spatial characteristics of droughts were analyzed and then, Drought Severity – Areal extent – Frequency (SAF) annual and monthly curves were developed. The analysis indicated that moderate and severe droughts are common in Thessaly region. Using the SAF curves, the return period of selected severe drought events was assessed.