Application of the artificial neural network model for prediction of monthly standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index using hydrometeorological parameters and climate indices in eastern Australia

Deo, Ravinesh C. and Sahin, Mehmet (2015) Application of the artificial neural network model for prediction of monthly standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index using hydrometeorological parameters and climate indices in eastern Australia. Atmospheric Research, 161-162. pp. 65-81. ISSN 0169-8095


The forecasting of drought based on cumulative influence of rainfall, temperature and evaporation is greatly beneficial for mitigating adverse consequences on water-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, ecosystems, wildlife, tourism, recreation, crop health and hydrologic engineering. Predictive models of drought indices help in assessing water scarcity situations, drought identification and severity characterization. In this paper, we tested the feasibility of the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) as a data-driven model for predicting the monthly Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) for eight candidate stations in eastern Australia using predictive variable data from 1915 to 2005 (training) and simulated data for the period 2006-2012. The predictive variables were: monthly rainfall totals, mean temperature, minimum temperature, maximum temperature and evapotranspiration, which were supplemented by large-scale climate indices (Southern Oscillation Index, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode and Indian Ocean Dipole) and the Sea Surface Temperatures (Nino 3.0, 3.4 and 4.0). A total of 30 ANN models were developed with 3-layer ANN networks. To determine the best combination of learning algorithms, hidden transfer and output functions of the optimum model, the Levenberg-Marquardt and Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno (BFGS) quasi-Newton backpropagation algorithms were utilized to train the network, tangent and logarithmic sigmoid equations used as the activation functions and the linear, logarithmic and tangent sigmoid equations used as the output function. The best ANN architecture had 18 input neurons, 43 hidden neurons and 1 output neuron, trained using the Levenberg-Marquardt learning algorithm using tangent sigmoid equation as the activation and output functions. An evaluation of the model performance based on statistical rules yielded time-averaged Coefficient of Determination, Root Mean Squared Error and the Mean Absolute Error ranging from 0.9945-0.9990, 0.0466-0.1117, and 0.0013-0.0130, respectively for individual stations. Also, the Willmott's Index of Agreement and the Nash-Sutcliffe Coefficient of Efficiency were between 0.932-0.959 and 0.977-0.998, respectively. When checked for the severity (S), duration (D) and peak intensity (I) of drought events determined from the simulated and observed SPEI, differences in drought parameters ranged from - 1.41-0.64%, - 2.17-1.92% and - 3.21-1.21%, respectively. Based on performance evaluation measures, we aver that the Artificial Neural Network model is a useful data-driven tool for forecasting monthly SPEI and its drought-related properties in the region of study.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 06:15
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 01:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: artificial neural network; data-driven model; drought prediction in Australia; standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index (SPEI)
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040102 Atmospheric Dynamics
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2015.03.018

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