Transfer function-noise modeling and spatial interpolation to evaluate the risk of extreme (shallow) water-table levels in the Brazilian Cerrados
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Water regimes in the Brazilian Cerrados are sensitive to climatological disturbances and human intervention. The risk that critical water-table levels are exceeded over long periods of time can be estimated by applying stochastic methods in modeling the dynamic relationship between water levels and driving forces such as precipitation and evapotranspiration. In this study, a transfer function-noise model, the so called PIRFICT-model, is applied to estimate the dynamic relationship between water-table depth and precipitation surplus/deficit in a watershed with a groundwater monitoring scheme in the Brazilian Cerrados. Critical limits were defined for a period in the Cerrados agricultural calendar, the end of the rainy season, when extremely shallow levels (< 0.5-m depth) can pose a risk to plant health and machinery before harvesting. By simulating time-series models, the risk of exceeding critical thresholds during a continuous period of time (e.g. 10 days) is described by probability levels. These simulated probabilities were interpolated spatially using universal kriging, incorporating information related to the drainage basin from a digital elevation model. The resulting map reduced model uncertainty. Three areas were defined as presenting potential risk at the end of the rainy season. These areas deserve attention with respect to water-management and land-use planning.