Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 5, 93–104, 1998
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-5-93-1998
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 5, 93–104, 1998
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-5-93-1998

  30 Jun 1998

30 Jun 1998

Breakdown coefficients and scaling properties of rain fields

D. Harris, M. Menabde, A. Seed*, and G. Austin D. Harris et al.
  • Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  • *new affiliation: Hydrology Division, Bureau of Meteorology, GPO Box 1289 K, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia

Abstract. The theory of scale similarity and breakdown coefficients is applied here to intermittent rainfall data consisting of time series and spatial rain fields. The probability distributions (pdf) of the logarithm of the breakdown coefficients are the principal descriptor used. Rain fields are distinguished as being either multiscaling or multiaffine depending on whether the pdfs of breakdown coefficients are scale similar or scale dependent, respectively. Parameter  estimation techniques are developed which are applicable to both multiscaling and multiaffine fields. The scale parameter (width), σ, of the pdfs of the log-breakdown coefficients is a measure of the intermittency of a field. For multiaffine fields, this scale parameter is found to increase with scale in a power-law fashion consistent with a bounded-cascade picture of rainfall modelling. The resulting power-law exponent, H, is indicative of the smoothness of the field. Some details of breakdown coefficient analysis are addressed and a theoretical link between this analysis and moment scaling analysis is also presented. Breakdown coefficient properties of cascades are also investigated in the context of parameter estimation for modelling purposes.