Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Fractal Analysis of Rainfall Time Series

Fractal Rainfall

"Two-year series of 1-min rainfall intensities observed by rain gages at six different points are analyzed to obtain information about the fractal behavior of the rainfall distribution in time. First, the rainfall time series are investigated using a monodimensional fractal approach (simple scaling) by calculating the box and correlation dimensions, respectively. The results indicate scaling but with different dimensions for different time aggregation periods. The time periods where changes in dimension occur can be related to average rainfall event durations and average dry period lengths. Also, the dimension is shown to be a decreasing function of the rainfall intensity level. This suggests a multidimensional fractal behavior (multiscaling), and to test this hypothesis, the probability distribution/multiple scaling method was applied to the time series. The results confirm that the investigated rainfall time series display a multidimensional fractal behavior, at least within a significant part of the studied timescales, which indicates that the rainfall process can be described by a multiplicative cascade process."
The above comes from a study done by Jonas Olsson, Janusz Niemczynowicz and Ronny Berndtsson. with the Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.  It was reported on in the WaterSISWEB site just as above - nothing else.

Can anyone tell me what this means and why it might be important?  John Fleck?  Is this up your alley?   I understand that fractals are patterns that exist at various scales so I'm guessing this report is saying that rainfall patterns are similar over various scales... of time?  Distance?  Intensities?

When I first read it I was sure it was an attempt by the Three Swedes to prove the 23 Enigma!  But I think now it's more sophisticated than that.  Now I'm thinking it's design is to expose the 6 degrees of separation from any of the 23 enigmas!  A mind-bender any way you look at it.

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