kern is used internally by
spifor computing drought indices at different time scales.
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numeric, time scale or length of the kernel.
character, shape of the kernel function.
numeric, shifting of the kernel peak.
Drought indices, such as the SPEI or the SPI, are usually computed at different time scales to adapt to the different response times of systems affected by drought. This is acomplished by applying a kernel function to the data prior to computation of the SPEI. Application of a kernel has the effect of smoothing the temporal variability of the resulting SPEI, allowing for the major patterns to emerge from the noise. Other way of considering it is that the kernel allows incorporating information of previous time steps into the calculation of the current time step, so the resulting values of the SPEI adapt to the memory of the system under study.
The most common kernel function is rectangular, i.e. all the data
of the previous n time steps are given equal weight. This
was the way the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was defined,
and it is also the way the SPEI is computed. This would be the default
option for the
kern function. However, data from the past can be
thought of as having a decreasing influence in the current state of the
system as the temporal lag between them increases. The function
kern allows weighting the past data as a function of the time
lapse, according to a series of pre-defined shapes. Available options
are 'rectangular' (default), 'triangular', 'circular' and 'gaussian'.
By default the highest weight will be given to the observation of the
current month. However, it is possible to modify this by setting the
shift parameter to a value higher than zero. This will cause
the highest weight be given to the n antecedent observation.
kern.plot produces plots of the weighting factor against the
time lag for the four different kernel shapes so they can be compared.
A vector of lenght equal to
scale with weights used for computing the drought index.
S.M. Vicente-Serrano, S. Beguería, J.I. López-Moreno. 2010. A Multi-scalar drought index sensitive to global warming: The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index – SPEI. Journal of Climate 23: 1696, DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI2909.1.
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