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Application of kriging technique to areal precipitation mapping in Arizona

Research paper by Arnon Karnieli

Indexed on: 01 Dec '90Published on: 01 Dec '90Published in: GeoJournal



Abstract

The classical methods for interpolating and spatial averaging of precipitation fields fail to quantify the accuracy of the estimate. On the other hand, kriging is an interpolation method for predicting values of regionalized variables at points (punctual kriging) or average values over an area (block kriging).This paper demonstrates the use of the kriging method for mapping and evaluating precipitation data for the State of Arizona. Using 158 rain gauge stations with 30 years or more of record, the precipitation over the state has been modeled as a realization of a two dimensional random field taking into consideration the spatial variability conditions.Three data sets have been used: (1) the mean annual precipitation over the state; (2) the mean summer rainy season; and (3) the mean winter rainy season. Validation of the empirical semi-variogram for a constant drift case indicated that the exponential model was appropriate for all the data sets. In addition to a global kriging analysis, the data have been examined under an anisotropic assumption which reflects the topographic structure of the state.