Monitoring of meteorological and hydrological droughts in the Vistula basin (Poland)

Environ Monit Assess. 2018 Oct 30;190(11):691. doi: 10.1007/s10661-018-7058-8.


The article presents the course of meteorological droughts in Vistula subcatchments in years 1981-2010 and their influence on the occurrence of hydrological droughts. Using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as an indicator of meteorological drought on the one hand and the Standardized Water-level Index (SWI) and Standardized Runoff Index (SRI) as indicators of hydrological drought on the other, the mutual relationships between precipitation conditions and hydrological conditions were evaluated, as well as the relationships between the two drought types. Studies were conducted for three cumulative periods of these indices, of 12, 24, and 48 months. It was determined that meteorological droughts occurred earliest in the north-western and central part of the basin, and latest in areas lying above 300 m a.s.l. and in the south of Poland. Total duration, depending on the cumulative period, for SPI comprised from 38 to 41% of the analyzed period and for SWI (35-47%) and SRI (24-51%). The strongest relationships were identified in the central part of the Vistula (0.8 < r < 0.85), while the weakest relationships were recorded in the foothill region (r < 0.5). There were also indicated non-climate-related factors influencing those relationships (underground reservoirs, diverse Vistula water resource usage for municipal and industrial intake).

Keywords: Hydrological drought; Meteorological drought; Poland; Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI); Standardized Runoff Index (SRI); Standardized Water-level Index (SWI); Vistula basin.

MeSH terms

  • Droughts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Hydrology / methods*
  • Meteorology / methods*
  • Poland
  • Rain*
  • Rivers*
  • Water
  • Water Resources


  • Water