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Journal Article

A complex network approach to study the extreme precipitation patterns in a river basin


Agarwal,  Ankit
External Organizations;

Guntu,  Ravi Kumar
External Organizations;


Banerjee,  Abhirup
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Gadhawe,  Mayuri Ashokrao
External Organizations;


Marwan,  Norbert
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Agarwal, A., Guntu, R. K., Banerjee, A., Gadhawe, M. A., Marwan, N. (2022): A complex network approach to study the extreme precipitation patterns in a river basin. - Chaos, 32, 1, 013113.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_26871
The quantification of spatial propagation of extreme precipitation events is vital in water resources planning and disaster mitigation. However, quantifying these extreme events has always been challenging as many traditional methods are insufficient to capture the nonlinear interrelationships between extreme event time series. Therefore, it is crucial to develop suitable methods for analyzing the dynamics of extreme events over a river basin with a diverse climate and complicated topography. Over the last decade, complex network analysis emerged as a powerful tool to study the intricate spatiotemporal relationship between many variables in a compact way. In this study, we employ two nonlinear concepts of event synchronization and edit distance to investigate the extreme precipitation pattern in the Ganga river basin. We use the network degree to understand the spatial synchronization pattern of extreme rainfall and identify essential sites in the river basin with respect to potential prediction skills. The study also attempts to quantify the influence of precipitation seasonality and topography on extreme events. The findings of the study reveal that (1) the network degree is decreased in the southwest to northwest direction, (2) the timing of 50th percentile precipitation within a year influences the spatial distribution of degree, (3) the timing is inversely related to elevation, and (4) the lower elevation greatly influences connectivity of the sites. The study highlights that edit distance could be a promising alternative to analyze event-like data by incorporating event time and amplitude and constructing complex networks of climate extremes. Extreme precipitation networks are constructed over a river basin using event synchronization (ES) and edit distance (ED). Edit distance is an alternative to event synchronization accounting for the sequences and the magnitude of events. Network-based measure degree is employed to understand the spatial synchronization pattern of the extreme precipitation in the Ganga river basin (GRB). The influence of the topography and rainfall characteristics on the extreme precipitation networks is also quantified. The proposed study can estimate the impact of artificial boundaries, thereby better understanding the extreme precipitation network's topology and spatial risk quantification of extreme events.