Structural characteristics of annual precipitation in Lake Urmia basin
Precipitation as the main process that brings evaporated water from the oceans to the land’s surface is a critical role player in Lake Urmia basin (Iran). As a hyper-saline lake declared as UNESCO’s biosphere reserve in Ramsar Convention, it is dealing with gradual atrophy. In this study, characteristics of annual precipitation in the Lake Urmia basin are investigated by means of several statistical measures and tests.Datain53meteorologicalstationswidespreadacrossthe basin for a period of 31 years from 1981 to 2011 are considered for analysis. Fundamental statistical characteristics of the data like mean, maximum, minimum, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, coefficient of skewness, coefficient of kurtosis, auto-correlation and cross-correlation coefficients of the annual precipitation are calculated. Entropy in each station is also calculated with respect to the long-run mean precipitation of the basin. Results of the analysis are plotted in contour maps. Several tests for consistency, randomness, trend and best-fit probability distribution function are applied to investigate characteristics of the annual precipitation. Heterogeneity and dependence on local conditions are the main results revealed by this study while consistency and dependency of precipitation on North West and West of the basin are considered as the most effective among other regions. Due to the North-South oriented mountains, a relatively sharp decline in the precipitation from West to East can be compared to the gradual decline in precipitation from North to South due to smooth change in the terrain. It is also seen that such characteristics as probability distribution, consistency, randomness, trend, and uncertainty of annual precipitation in the Lake Urmia basin become more complex as crossing from West to East than crossing from North to South on the basin.