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INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010

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ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

SpatialAnalysisofRainfallVariationinCoimbatoreDistrictTamilnaduusing
GIS
IshappaMuniyappaRathod, Aruchamy.S
DepartmentofGeography,SchoolofGeosciences,
BharathidasanUniversity,Tiruchirappalli24
rathodishappa@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Amongtheclimaticelementstherainfallisthefirstindex,everthoughtofbyfarmersand
climaticanalyzersasitisthemostimportantsinglefactorwhichdeterminesthecroppingpattern
ofanareaingeneralandthetypeofcroptobecultivatedanditssuccessorfailureinparticular.
Therefore,the present study deals the rainfall characteristics of the Coimbatore District, which
includesthespatialdistributionandvariabilitythroughdifferentseasons,precipitationratioand
frequency occurrences. The study is based on 49years of the monthly rainfall data for 33 rain
gaugestations.Whileanalyzingthelongtermaverageofmonthlyandannualrainfall,theannual
rainfall of the district is 1242 mm, of which the winter, summer, southwest and northeast
monsoon record 2.07, 14.97, 46.13 and 36.83 mm respectively. The station Upper Niradam
receivesthehighestrainfallof4655mmwhereasKrishnapuramrecordsthelowestof414mm.
The annual variability ranges from 21.16 percent to 52.28 percent. The south, southwest and
northwesternpartsofthedistrictexperiencetheheavyrainfallwhereastheleastrainfallareasare
theeast,northeastandsoutheasternpartsofthedistrict.
Keywords:Annualandseasonalrainfall,rainfallvariability,precipitationratioandfrequency.

1.Introduction

Allofthenaturalconditions,rainfallshouldberegardedasthefundamentalssoforasprogress
ofthesocietyisconcerned.Ratheritishasalwaysbeentreatedasafundamentalsectorforthe
totaldevelopmentofthesocietyS.K.Sadhukan(1987).Rainfall isacrucialagroclimatological
factor in the seasonally arid parts of the world and its analysis an important perquisite for
agricultural planning in India, Alak Gadgil (1986). India is a tropical country its agricultural
planning and utilization water is depends on monsoon rainfall, more than 75% of rainfall
accruingduringthemonsoonseasonmonsoonrainfallisunevenbothintimeandspace,soitis
important factors to evolving the rainfall analysis.Jagannadhasarma (2005) has analysed the
rainfallpatternofthecoastalzoneofKrishanaGodavaryRiverBasinAndhraPradesh,India.He
has made analysed the annual, monsoon and nonmonsoon rainfall and spatial and frequency
distributionofrainfallintensityandG.Vennila(2007)hasanalysedrainfallvariationanalysisof
Vattamalaikarai subbasin, Tamil Nadu, India. He has interpreted monthly, seasonal variation,
intensity and frequency of rainfall. The present study made to understand the rainfall of the
region,thehighlandreceives morerainfallthan nearby lowlands,especially intheirwindward
sidesasaresultoforographicliftingcharactersoftheregionA.AAdebaye(1997).Theinfluence
oftopographyonrainfalldistribution.Howeverthestudyreflectingthemorerainfallinthewind
ward of western ghat region. Which includes the spatial variation, variability through different
seasons,precipitationratioandfrequency.

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2.StudyArea

TheCoimbatoredistrictissituatedinNorthWesternpartoftheTamil Nadu,thedistrictcovering
anareaof4889sq.kmfallsbetween1013'4"Northto1124'5"Northlatitudeand7639'25"
Eastto7718'26"Eastlongitude.Administrativelydistrictisdividedintosixtaluksandtwelve
blocks (Fig.1). The district head quarter is located in the north central part of the region. The
temperaturerangesbetween18.32CinthemonthofJanuaryand36.42CinthemonthofApril.
Theareaisbonded by WesternGatesonWest,Nilagiri hills inNorthWestandAnaimalaiand
Palani hill insouth.Thedistrictgradientofslopegraduallydecreasestowardswesttoeast,the
districtdrainBhavani,Noyal,Pallar,Amaravathirivers.

Figure1:ImagesshowingthestudyArea

3. Methodology

The base map of Coimbatore district has been prepared from Survey of India Toposheet on
1:250000 scale. Monthly rainfall data for the period of 49 years from 1959 to 2008 has been
collected from Indian Meteorological Department Pune, and Economics and Statistical
Department Chennai. There are 33 in and around rainfall station have been taken into
consideration for analyzing long term mean monthly, seasonal and annual rainfall pattern has

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been calculated. The coefficient of variability where worked out. There are some rain gauge
stationshavebeenestablishedduring1980and1996.Thecollecteddatahasbeenprocessedand
analyzedbypreparingvariouschartsmapsanddiagramsusingGISsoftware.

4.ResultsandDiscussion

4.1Variationof MonthlyRainfall

Theaveragemonthlyrainfallof49years(1959to2008)for33raingaugestationofCoimbatore
districtinferredthatthevariationofrainfallisfoundineverymonth,andtheintensityofrainfall
gradually increasing fromtheJanuarytoJuly,andsuddenlydecreasingtrendnoticed fromJuly
toSeptember.Thehighly intensitytrends noticed inthe monthofOctoberandNovemberand
thesemonthgethighestrainfallanditreachesitsmaximumpeakandalsoitsstarttodecreasing
frommonthofDecemberandlowestofrainfallinthemonthofJanuary.(Fig.2).HoweverUpper
Niradamrecords1202.01mminthemonthofJuly,996.25mminJune,and924.22mminAugust
anditexperiencelowestrainfallinthemonthofFebruarywhichis14.12mm.Thelowestrainfall
recorded at Coimbatore town which is 4.1 mm in the month of February and its maximum
rainfallis135mminthemonthofOctober
MeanMonthlyRainfall

250
y=13.267x+17.305
2
200 R =0.4945
Rainfall(MM)

150

100

50

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
M onths

Figure2:Monthlyvariationofrainfallpattern

4.2 MeanAnnualRainfall

The long term mean annual rainfall of the district is 1242.49mm. The district is characterized
withuniqueaerialtopography(Fig.4)inquantumofrainfallduetotheinfluenceofwesternGhat
and Anaimalai and Nilgiri hills. The maximum rainfall recorded at Upper Niradam which is
4655.1mm and minimum 414.4mm at Krishnapuram. The southern part of region experiences
highest rainfall that is Upper Niradam (4655.1mm),Solaiyar Nagar (3703mm),Anaimalai
(3523.3mm),Valparai(2882.7mm),theseplacesinfluencedbytheWesternGhatswindwardand
locatedatAnaimalaireserveforestpartofWesternGhatsandgraduallydecreasestowardnorth,
east,northeastuplandregion.WhereasKrishnapuram(414.4mm),Annur.(559mm),Coimbatore
town (559.3mm),Sultanpet(577.3mm), sulur (577.5mm), these upland region and palaghat gap

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are rain shadow regions experiences lowest of rainfall in district. In general south, south west
andnorthwesternpartsnoticedtheheavyrainfall,theregionfallsunderfollowingzones.
1. High rainfall zone: (above 1000mm): In thesouthern part Upper Niradam, Soliyar Nagar,
Anaimalai,Valaparai,Topslip,Attakatti,inthenorthwestern
partAnaikatti,coonoor,Ooty,Kodanadu,Kethi,Kotagiriandsudakapalayainthenortheastern
part.
2.Moderaterainfallzone(800999mm):Pollachi,P.N.Palayam,AliyarNagar,Negamam,
3.Normalrainfallzone:(700799mm):MettupalyamTirumoorthyNagar,Nallarcolony.
4. Low rainfall zones: (600699mm): Vettaikarnpudur, Podanur, Chitrachavadi, and
Bhavanisag
5. Very low rainfall zones :( Less than): Annur, Pedamapatti, Coimbatore town, Palladam,
Peelamedu,Krrishanpuram,Poolankinar,SultanpetandSulur.

Figure3:Imageshowinglocationofrainfallstations

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Figure4:Imageshowingmeanannualrainfall

4.2.1 WinterSeason

Duringthewinterseason theregionheavilyexperienceslowrainfall anditisdriestamongtheall


seasonwhichismaximumrecordedatadjacentareaoftheregionwhichCoonoor86.82mmin
themonthofFebruaryandlowestrecordedatCoimbatoretownwhichis4.1mminthemonthof
February. The amount of rainfall decreases north west to north east and central part of region
such as Annur, Sulur,Sultanpet, Krishnapurm, and Podanur(Fig.5). Its rainfall average 20mm,
thisseasoncontributes2.07%tomeanannualrainfall .

4.2.2 SummerSeason

Thisishotweatherseasonthemountofrainfallgraduallyincreasesandhowever,theamountof
rainfall occurrence in this season is largely due to convection effect, this season contributes
14.97%ofmeanannualrainfallthis seasonaveragerainfall is186.01mmandalmost80%area
receives more than 186 mm accept north western and southern part of district (Fig.6). The
highestamountofrainfallisrecordedattheUpperNiradam224.14mminthemonthofMayand
seasonalaverageis370.7mmandwherethelowestrainfallisrecordedinKrishnapuram5.3mm
anditsseasonalaverage69.8mm.

Figure5:Imagesshowingrainfallinwinterandsummerinthestudyarea

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Table1:Longterm(19592008)meanseasonal,annualprecipitationratioandrainfall
variability(in%)
S.No Stationname Winter Summer SWM NEM Annual

1 Alaiyarnagar 20 155.37 292.72 366.27 834.38


2 Anaikatty 41.26 265.93 261.76 589.64 1158.61
3 Anaimalai 29.4 322.0 2702.8 469.0 3523.3
4 Annur 12.6 115.9 169.9 260.6 559.0
5 Attakatti 30.0 220.7 386.6 570.2 1207.4
6 Bhavanisagar 23.7 153.2 171.2 339.8 687.9
7 Chitrachavadi 15.3 97.7 236.1 308.1 657.1
8 Coimbatoretown 9.6 98.2 151.6 299.8 559.3
9 Coonoor 148.2 308.0 369.5 864.3 1690.0
10 Kethi 35.1 401.8 722.5 751.9 1911.3
11 kodanadu 49.4 265.4 389.2 716.9 1421.0
12 kotagiri 45.7 275.7 333.8 599.6 1254.8
13 Krishnapuram 12.7 69.8 60.5 271.4 414.4
14 Metuupalayam 42.8 162.1 147.2 388.6 740.7
15 Nallarcolony 21.1 118.0 187.1 385.3 711.5
16 Negamam 14.9 176.4 370.1 341.4 902.8
17 Ooty 15.0 221.6 509.5 363.4 1109.4
18 P.N.Palayam 24.1 171.3 201.1 422.7 819.2
19 Palladam 8.4 111.4 110.8 314.3 544.9
20 Pedamapatti 15.5 120.7 124.2 318.3 578.7
21 Peelamedu 14.0 120.9 147.7 312.9 595.5
22 Podanur 17.1 110.1 148.0 336.7 612.0
23 Pollachi 12.6 132.5 369.1 317.9 832.2
24 Poolakinar 18.1 103.3 99.7 332.9 554.0
25 Solaiyarnagar 28.0 345.7 2846.1 487.2 3707.0
26 Sultanpet 8.9 147.6 136.4 284.4 577.3
27 Sulur 11.8 139.2 113.9 312.7 577.5
28 Sundakapalayam 9.3 110.3 173.1 1713.3 2005.9
29 Thirumurthinagar 22.1 117.5 152.4 408.6 700.6
30 Topslip 24.9 160.3 772.4 369.1 1326.7
31 Upperniradam 29.6 370.7 3655.5 599.3 4655.1
32 Valaparai 28.3 333.9 2098.1 422.5 2882.7
33 Veetaikarnpudur 11.4 115.0 305.3 258.2 690.0
34 Mean 25.78 186.01 573.20 457.49 1242.49

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4.2.3 SouthWestMonsoonSeason

Hugeamountofrainfallvariationnoticedinthisseason,halfofnorthernpartofdistrictreceives
lowrainandhalfofsouthernpartreceivesheaviestrainfallduringseason.Theaveragerainfallof
thisseason573.20 mmand it is46.13%of meanannualrainfall.Thehighest seasonalrainfall
recorded in Upper Niradam (3655.5mm), and 1202.1 mm in the month of July, 996.25mm in
June, 924.22 mm in August. Soliyar Nagar 2846.1mm, Anaimalais 2702.8mm, Valparai
2098.1mm, Topslip 772.4mm, lowest seasonal rainfall recorded in Krishnapurm 60.5mm, and
7.4 mm rainfall recorded inthe month of August Sulur 113.9, Sultanpet 136.4 mm rainfall but
southernpartsofDistrictsreceivesmorethan80%rainfallduringthisseason.Mostofsouthand
westofPollchiandPalaghatgapexperienceshighestrainfall,becauseofinfluencebyleewardof
WesternGhats(Fig.7).UpperNiradamSoliyarNagar,AnaimalaisandTopsliparewettestplaces
ofdistrict.

Figure6:Southwestmonsoonrainfall

4.2.4 NorthEastMonsoonSeason

The North east monsoon season is important rainy season in the district, total rainfall in this
season is low comparatively to the south west monsoon, but the eastern, north western, and

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central Upland region such as Annur, Sulur, Sultanpet, Negamam, Krishnapuram, Podanur
Coimbatoretown,andPeelameduexperiencesmaximumquantumofrainfall(Fig.8).thisseason
contributes36.82%ofmeanannualrainfallandaveragerainfallthisseasonis457.49mmrainfall.
The rainfall is gradually increase east to north west and south western part of the district, the
highestrainfallrecordedinadjacentareaatSundakapalayam1713.3mm,UpperNiradam599.3,
Anaikatty589.64mm,Attakati570.2,andwhereaslowestrainfallisrecordedinVettaikarnpdur
258.2mm, Annur 260.6mm and Krishnapuram 271.4mm, and Sultanpet 284.4mm, 80%of area
receiveswellraininthisseason,andmostofagriculturalactivitytakesplacesforshowingcrops.

Figure7:Northeastmonsoonrainfall

4.3Variabilityof Rainfall

Variabilitydefinedasthedeviationfrommeanorratioofthestandarddeviationtothemean
rainfallandinotherwordsvariabilityofcoefficientofvariation.

4.3.1 AnnualVariabilityof Rainfall

Annualrainfallvariabilityofregionstretchesbetween19.69%to387.91%atadjacentareaofthe
region which is Coonoor and Sundakapalyam respectively, and 21.16% atTopslip and highest
variability recorded in the central part of region that is Padanur (52.28%) and
P.N.Palayam(51.81%) at northern part of region(Fig.9). Sultanpet experiences very low

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variability in eastern part district and in south western part Topslip and Vettaikarnpudur
experienceslowvariabilityandAnaikatti,Coonoorexperienceslowvariabilityinnorthwestern
partoftheregionwhereasrestofdistrictexperienceshomogenousvariabilityintheregion.

Figure8:Imageshowingannualrainfallvariability

4.4WinterSeasonRainfallVariability

Thevariabilityrainfallishigherinthisseasonwhilecomparativelytootherseason,becauselow
rainfall areas experiences greater fluctuation of variability (Fig.10). The lowest variability
recordedadjacentareaofregionwhich isCoonoor77.29%maximumatPalladam232.2%and
lowestvariabilityrecordednorthwesternpartwhichisAnaiktti115.34%andsouthernpartsuch
as Upper Niradam, Solaiyar Nagar, Valaparia, Anaimalai experiences the low variability and
central part eastern part gradually increase variability of rainfall, this fluctuations indicates the
regionexperiencesheavy lowrainfall.

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Table2:Longterm(19592008)meanseasonal,annualprecipitationratioandrainfall
variability(in%)

Precipitation
RainfallVariability

Annual

Summer

Annual
SWM
Winter
S.No StationName

ratio

NEM
1 Alaiyarnagar 99.41 149.95 63.71 41.91 51.13 27.6
2 Anaikatty 119.02 115.34 65.19 74.07 46.51 29.23
3 Anaimalai 151.9 130 62.82 31.99 43.56 26.13
4 Annur 240.0 174.36 65.08 58.25 76.63 48.47
5 Attakatti 146.1 143.5 79.93 68.69 47.24 32.33
6 Bhavanisagar 89.05 128.54 62.93 71.96 43.5 27.65
7 Chitrachavadi 160.2 190.65 63.78 42.69 52.87 32.63
8 Coimbatoretown 180.3 209.68 67.35 49.06 53.61 33.69
9 Coonoor 89.13 77.29 48.88 38.71 34.08 19.69
10 Kethi 88.31 124.9 65.01 43.38 24.37 28.43
11 kodanadu 136.72 119.78 71.72 41.46 31.23 23.57
12 kotagiri 96.38 120.94 74.77 34.99 35.89 28.03
13 Krishnapuram 195.5 231.65 76.07 73.71 52.77 42.2
14 Mettupalyam 140.7 139.06 56.6 62.99 46.77 31.63
15 Nallarcolony 176.26 201.89 64.01 60.05 55.68 42.52
16 Negamam 120.94 227.51 78.34 42.11 54.25 31.81
17 Ooty 97.42 128.97 53.77 33.58 36.73 24.77
18 P.N.Palayam 210.77 187.17 86.36 73.94 60.14 51.81
19 Palladam 132.5 232.2 80.25 67.52 42.2 31.51
20 Pedamapatti 171.85 182.94 63.53 67.45 50.32 32.25
21 Peelamedu 171.5 183.14 56.6 65.01 50.49 33.99
22 Podanur 332.0 201.11 63.36 82.72 68.02 52.28
23 Pollachi 166.6 181.42 58.06 31.62 54.9 29.26
24 Poolankinar 151.62 214.77 71.73 89.99 44.1 35.02
25 Solaiyarnagar 160.82 131.29 49.07 39.31 38.65 32.9
26 Sultanpet 118.09 165.95 52.03 69.86 41.35 28.24
27 Sulur 223.0 180.5 77.86 75.98 57.01 42.71
28 Sundakapalayam 2115.36 214.34 55.85 51.17 453.74 387.91
29 Thirumurtynagar 94.06 190.55 44.32 43.59 44.8 24.94
30 Topslip 64.93 161.04 63.24 28.02 50.48 21.16
31 Upperniradam 195.74 130.42 72.86 41.33 56.66 39.69
32 Valaparai 132.64 128.05 62.3 31.02 46.51 26.87
33 Veetaikarnpudur 119.58 177.18 54.93 38.15 61.17 26.93

4.5Summerseasonvariability
The variability during this hot weather season maximum recorded at (Fig.11) P.N. Palayam
(86.36%), Attaikatti (79.93%), Negamam (78.34%), Sulur (77.86%), and Krishnapuram
(76.07%) Coimbatore town (67.35%) Podanur (63.36%), Peelamedu (56.6%), and variability
generally decreases from north to south and lowest variability experience adajecent area at
TthirumrthyNagar44.32%,andSolaiyarNagar(49.07%),Sultanpet(52.03%),Vettaikarnpudur

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(54.93%), Mettupalayam (56.6%), and Pollchi (58.06%),.The variability of region highest


experience in north and eastern part of region. This season will be low because west of
influencesbythepremonsoonwinds.

4.6Southwestmonsoonvariabilityofrainfall
The south west monsoon rainfall variability experiences very less variability, comparatively to
theotherseason,thatisthe28.02%lowestatTopslip,Anaimalai,Valparai,SolaiyarNagarand
westofPollachiandsouthofChitrachavdiexperiencesverylessvariabilityduetoheavyrainfall
duringthisseason(Fig.12).Whereasveryhighvariabilityexperiencesatadjacentareaofregion
Poolankinar89.99%,Sultanpet,Sulur,Krishnapurm,Podanur,andP.N.Palayam.

Figure9:Imageshowingrainfallvariationinwinterandinsouthwestmonsoonseason

4.7NorthEastMonsoonVariability

Thenortheastmonsoonrainfallvariabilityexperienceshigherthanthesouthwestmonsoondue
to lesser rain, the maximum variability recorded at adjacent area of such as Sundakaplayam
453.74% and lowest at Kethi 24.37% and north of Pollachi indicated higher variability and
Anaimalai, Topslip, and Sultanpet experiences low rainfall variability. However rest of area
experiencesuniformityofvariability(Fig.13).
4.8Precipitationratio

Precipitationratio=PxPnx100

WherePxandPn,representthemaximumand minimumofrainfallovertheseriesof yearand


Pmisthemeanannualrainfall.Theabnormalitiesofrainfallatanylocationmaybebroughtbya
simpleratioofprecipitation.Itisthedifferencebetweenmaximumandminimumrainfallofover
theseriesof expressedintermsofmean.Thisratiomaygivethestabilityofrainfallwithspecial
relationship. Higher the ratio, higher in abnormality in rainfall and vice versa.The lowest
abnormality found at Topslip, which is 64.93% and increasing the abnormality in the north

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eastern region of adjoining area that is Sundakpalayam 2115.36 % and this (Table.2) extreme
abnormality found inthenortheastregionand itnotgoodrelationshiptotherainfallpatternin
thenortheastregion.

Figure10:Imageshowingrainfallvariability onNortheastmonsoon

The higher abnormality of rainfall shows in the central part of the region and north east and
eastern part of region showing the higher the abnormality of rainfall. Where as southern and
northwesternpartoftheregiongraduallydecreasingtheabnormalityofrainfall,andthisresults
showsgoodrelationshiptorainfallpattern.
5.Conclusion
Coimbatore district bounded by Western Ghats, in the west and north of Nilagiri hills, in the
south Anaimalai and Palani hills, and this district stretches in rain shadow region of Western
Ghats. Normal rainfall of region during 19592008 is 1242.49 mm and this district receives
above normal rainfall of Tamil Nadu state. The maximum rainfall recorded at Upper Niradam
1202.01mm inthe monthofJuly,and lowestofregionrecordedatCoimbatoretown4.1mm in
themonthofFebruary.TheCoimabtoredistricsexperiencesdriestinthemonthofJanuary.The
analysisofregionheavyrainfallexperiencestowardsthesouthandsouthwesternpartandnorth
westernpartinsummer,southwestmonsoonandnortheastmonsoonseason,andhugeamount
ofdeficitintheeast,northeastandgraduallyinsoutheastpartandcentralpartofdistrict.The
south west monsoon contributes the highest percentage of rainfall, which is 46.13% (573.2048

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MM),northeastmonsoon 36.82%(457.4909MM),summer14.97%(186.0131MM) andwinter


seasoncontributelowestofwhichis 2.07%(25.7851MM),

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