Universality in the precipitation and river runoff
Institut für Theoretische Physik III, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - Heinrich-Buff-Ring 16, 35392, Giessen, Germany
2 Radio System Department, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University - Professor Popov str. 5, 197376, St. Petersburg, Russia
Accepted: 13 January 2012
For characterizing the inherent dynamical structure of precipitation and river runoffs, we study in representative seasonally detrended records the durations τ where the record is below a given threshold Q. When keeping the return period RQ of the threshold fixed, we find that the probability density function (PDF) of these durations shows universal features when scaled with the average duration ⟨τ⟩. For both types of data the scaling function can be approximated by a Γ-distribution, but also a description by the corresponding PDF of long-term correlated records is possible. The parameters of the PDF depend on the kind of data (precipitation or river runoff) and on RQ but neither on the climate nor on the hydrological details of the location of the record.
PACS: 89.75.Da – Systems obeying scaling laws / 92.40.Ea – Precipitation / 92.40.qp – Floods, runoff, and stream flow
© EPLA, 2012