EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Joint multifractal approach to characterize nonlinear relationships of climate and cereal growth in semiarid

David Rivas-Tabares1 and Ana María Tarquis Alfonso1,2
David Rivas-Tabares and Ana María Tarquis Alfonso
  • 1CEIGRAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (
  • 2Grupo de Sistemas Complejos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (

Rainfed crops as cereals in the semiarid are common and extensive land cover in which climate, soils and atmosphere interact trough nonlinear relationships. Earth Observations coupled to ground monitoring network allow to improve the understanding of these relationships during each cropping season. However, novel analysis is required to understand these relationships in larger periods to improve sustainability and suitability of the productive areas in the semiarid.

The aim of this work is to use a joint multifractal approach using vegetation indices, precipitation, and temperatures to analyze atmosphere-plant nonlinear relationships. For this, time series of 20 cropping seasons were used to characterize these relationships in central Spain. The Generalized Structure Function and the derived Generalized Hurst Exponent analysis were implemented to investigate precipitation, vegetation indices and temperature time series. For this, an exhaustive selection based on land use and a land cover change analysis was performed to detect plots in which cereal crop sequences are dedicated to barley and wheat over the period 2000 to 2020.

As a result, two agro zones were characterized by different multifractal properties. Precipitation series show antipersistent characteristics and fractal properties between zones while original vegetation indices show trending behavior but shifted between analyzed zones. Nonetheless, soils and rainfall events can vary interannual conditions in which the crop is developing. For vegetation indices long-term series the trend is persistent. Even so, the dynamics of vegetation indices also provide more information when annual patterns are extracted from the series, exhibiting fractal properties mainly from rainfall pattern of each zone. Finally, in this case, the joint multifractal analysis served to characterize agro zones using earth observation and climate data for extensive cereals in Central Spain.


Rivas-Tabares D., Tarquis A.M. (2021) Towards Understanding Complex Interactions of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Measurements Network and Precipitation Gauges of Cereal Growth System. In: Benito R.M., Cherifi C., Cherifi H., Moro E., Rocha L.M., Sales-Pardo M. (eds) Complex Networks & Their Applications IX. COMPLEX NETWORKS 2020 2020. Studies in Computational Intelligence, vol 943. Springer, Cham.


The authors acknowledge support from Project No. PGC2018-093854-B-I00 of the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia Innovación y Universidades of Spain and the funding from the Comunidad de Madrid (Spain), Structural Funds 2014-2020 512 (ERDF and ESF), through project AGRISOST-CM S2018/BAA-4330 and the financial support from Boosting Agricultural Insurance based on Earth Observation data - BEACON project under agreement Nº 821964, funded under H2020_EU, DT-SPACE-01-EO-2018-2020.

How to cite: Rivas-Tabares, D. and Tarquis Alfonso, A. M.: Joint multifractal approach to characterize nonlinear relationships of climate and cereal growth in semiarid, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13498,, 2021.


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