Statistical characteristics of rainfall in the Onkaparinga catchment in South Australia

M. Mamunur Rashid, Simon Beecham, Rezaul K. Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of this study was to investigate the statistical characteristics of point rainfall and the novelty of the work was the development of a hybrid probability distribution that can model the full spectrum of daily rainfall in the Onkaparinga catchment in South Australia. Daily rainfall data from 1960 to 2010 at 13 rainfall stations were considered. Spatial dependency among the rainfall maxima was assessed using madograms. Relatively strong and significant autocorrelation coefficients were observed for rainfall depths at finer (daily and monthly) temporal resolutions. The performance of different distribution models was examined considering their ability to regenerate various statistics such as standard deviation, skewness, frequency distribution, percentiles and extreme values. Model efficiency statistics of modelled percentiles of daily rainfall were found to be useful for optimum threshold selection in a hybrid of the gamma and generalized Pareto distributions. The hybrid and the mixed exponential distributions were found to be more efficient than any single distribution (Weibull, gamma and exponential) for simulating the full range of daily rainfall across the catchment. The outcomes from this study will assist water engineers and hydrologists to understand the spatial and temporal characteristics of point rainfall in the Onkaparinga catchment and will hopefully contribute to the improvement of rainfall modelling and downscaling techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-373
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Water and Climate Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Hybrid distribution
  • Madograms
  • Precipitation concentration index
  • Rainfall modelling
  • Spatial and temporal variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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