Articles | Volume 6, issue 5
06 Sep 2010
 | 06 Sep 2010

A shift in the spatial pattern of Iberian droughts during the 17th century

F. Domínguez-Castro, R. García-Herrera, P. Ribera, and M. Barriendos

Abstract. In this paper, series of drought occurrence and drought extension in the Iberian Peninsula are constructed for the 1600–1750 period from seven rogation series. These rogation ceremony records come from Bilbao, Catalonia, Zamora, Zaragoza, Toledo, Murcia and Seville. They are distributed across the Peninsula and include the areas with the most characteristic Iberian climate types, influenced by the Atlantic and the Mediterranean conditions, described from modern data. A seasonal division of the series shows that spring is a critical season for rogation series in most of Iberia, being Bilbao the only site were the highest number of rogations is detected for a different season. The annual analysis of the series shows a dramatic difference between the first half of the 17th century when droughts are characterized by its local character; and the rest of the period, when they affect to broader regions or even to the whole Peninsula. The analysis of spring series confirms the existence of the two periods detected in the annual analysis. Finally, secondary documentary sources are used to further characterise the two most extended droughts in the period, 1664 and 1680, and to verify the extension of the areas affected by droughts recorded through rogation series.