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Scaling and fractal properties of rainfall - analysis and modeling of rain gauge data

Olsson, Jonas (1996)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Fraktal teori applicerad på regn.
Abstract
Fractal theory involving scaling properties has been applied in a wide range of research areas, particularly within natural sciences. In the present thesis, fractal theory has been applied to the rainfall process. The main questions to be answered were: (1) is rainfall characterized by scaling and fractal properties, and, if so, (2) how can these properties be modeled and used in applied hydrology?



Concerning question (1), a literature review revealed that two main types of scaling have been suggested for rainfall, simple scaling and multiscaling. Analysis results in the literature indicated that temporal and spatial rainfall intensities generally are characterized by multiscaling, whereas the fluctuations, i.e.,... (More)
Fractal theory involving scaling properties has been applied in a wide range of research areas, particularly within natural sciences. In the present thesis, fractal theory has been applied to the rainfall process. The main questions to be answered were: (1) is rainfall characterized by scaling and fractal properties, and, if so, (2) how can these properties be modeled and used in applied hydrology?



Concerning question (1), a literature review revealed that two main types of scaling have been suggested for rainfall, simple scaling and multiscaling. Analysis results in the literature indicated that temporal and spatial rainfall intensities generally are characterized by multiscaling, whereas the fluctuations, i.e., intensity changes are typically simple scaling. Analysis of large amounts of rainfall data from a temperate and a monsoon climate performed within the present thesis generally supported the above findings. Furthermore, some new observations were made, particularly that a simple scaling behavior of spatial rainfall fields could be connected to frontal passages and a multiscaling behavior to convective fields.



Concerning question (2), the literature review indicated that the observed scaling behavior may be due to a cascading of the rainfall from larger to smaller scales, an hypothesis that has been argued for on both theoretical and empirical grounds. For rainfall, various multiplicative random cascade modles have been developed, fitted to rainfall observations, and shown to reproduce the scaling behavior. In the present thesis, a muliplicative random cascade model involving some new concepts was developed for temporal rainfall. The possibility to use the model for rainfall disaggregation was tested, and the model proved able of disaggregating temporal rainfall volumes with several fundamental properties reproduced.



To conclude, the application of fractal theory revealed that the rainfall process in time and space is characterized by symmetries extending over large scale ranges, which allow a description of the process over a range of scales simultaneously. This is a significant advancement as compared to previous descriptions, and the present approach has therefore a potential to improve our ability to model rainfall. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Prof. Rosso, Renzo, DIIAR, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Geofysik, fysisk oceanografi, meteorology, physical oceanography, Geophysics, geographical and geological engineering, teknisk geografi, Hydrogeology, Hydrogeologi, teknisk geologi, meteorologi, Mathematics, Matematik, Statistics, operations research, programming, actuarial mathematics, Statistik, operationsanalys, programmering, aktuariematematik
pages
66 pages
publisher
Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University
defense location
Room V:B, V-building, John Ericssons v. 1, Lund
defense date
1996-09-27 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:LUTVDG/(TVVR-1014)/(1996)
ISSN
1101-9824
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
15890890-1161-45af-9819-19c44474b980 (old id 28703)
date added to LUP
2007-06-13 15:39:07
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:57
@phdthesis{15890890-1161-45af-9819-19c44474b980,
  abstract     = {Fractal theory involving scaling properties has been applied in a wide range of research areas, particularly within natural sciences. In the present thesis, fractal theory has been applied to the rainfall process. The main questions to be answered were: (1) is rainfall characterized by scaling and fractal properties, and, if so, (2) how can these properties be modeled and used in applied hydrology?<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Concerning question (1), a literature review revealed that two main types of scaling have been suggested for rainfall, simple scaling and multiscaling. Analysis results in the literature indicated that temporal and spatial rainfall intensities generally are characterized by multiscaling, whereas the fluctuations, i.e., intensity changes are typically simple scaling. Analysis of large amounts of rainfall data from a temperate and a monsoon climate performed within the present thesis generally supported the above findings. Furthermore, some new observations were made, particularly that a simple scaling behavior of spatial rainfall fields could be connected to frontal passages and a multiscaling behavior to convective fields.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Concerning question (2), the literature review indicated that the observed scaling behavior may be due to a cascading of the rainfall from larger to smaller scales, an hypothesis that has been argued for on both theoretical and empirical grounds. For rainfall, various multiplicative random cascade modles have been developed, fitted to rainfall observations, and shown to reproduce the scaling behavior. In the present thesis, a muliplicative random cascade model involving some new concepts was developed for temporal rainfall. The possibility to use the model for rainfall disaggregation was tested, and the model proved able of disaggregating temporal rainfall volumes with several fundamental properties reproduced.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
To conclude, the application of fractal theory revealed that the rainfall process in time and space is characterized by symmetries extending over large scale ranges, which allow a description of the process over a range of scales simultaneously. This is a significant advancement as compared to previous descriptions, and the present approach has therefore a potential to improve our ability to model rainfall.},
  author       = {Olsson, Jonas},
  issn         = {1101-9824},
  keyword      = {Geofysik,fysisk oceanografi,meteorology,physical oceanography,Geophysics,geographical and geological engineering,teknisk geografi,Hydrogeology,Hydrogeologi,teknisk geologi,meteorologi,Mathematics,Matematik,Statistics,operations research,programming,actuarial mathematics,Statistik,operationsanalys,programmering,aktuariematematik},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {66},
  publisher    = {Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University},
  title        = {Scaling and fractal properties of rainfall - analysis and modeling of rain gauge data},
  year         = {1996},
}