student profile: Miss Ansh Anshuka


Thesis work

Thesis title: Hydrological Extreme Prediction in Small Island Developing State Using Gridded Flood and Drought Index: An Application in Fiji

Supervisors: Willem VERVOORT , Floris VAN OGTROP

Thesis abstract:

In comparison to larger nations, small island developing states (SIDS) are disproportionately affected by natural disasters relative to GDP, size and frequency (IMF, 2016). Social, environmental and economic complexities are integral in making SIDS more vulnerable to such catastrophes. Floods and droughts have drastic impacts on societies, and yet limited studies have been done in the Pacific region to reduce risks. Currently, Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) utilises the Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) for monitoring drought and rainfall variability in the country. SPI is widely used due to its simplicity however it has few shortfalls which renders this index inadequate for modelling in Fiji. For this research, a gridded flood/drought monitoring index will be developed by modifying the existing SPI using global soil moisture, gridded evapotranspiration data, gridded precipitation data, local climate data, geophysical data and local knowledge. The modified index will be compared to the SPI for catchments in Fiji. Furthermore, canonical correlation analysis (CCA) will be used to correlate Sea Surface Temperature anomalies (SSTa) with SPI to investigate its effectivity in forecasting floods and droughts.

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