Multivariate Analysis of Erosivity Indices and Rainfall Physical Characteristics Associated with Rainfall Patterns in Rio de Janeiro

<div><p>ABSTRACT The identification of areas with greater erosive potential is important for planning soil and water conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical characteristics of rainfall events in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and their interactions with rainfall patterns through multivariate statistical analysis. Rainfall depth, kinetic energy, 30-min intensity (I30), duration of rainfall events, and the erosivity indices KE >10, KE >25, and EI30 in 36 locations (stations) were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA). Based on evaluation of the respective historical series of hyetographs, it was found that the advanced pattern occurs with highest frequency (51.8 %), followed by the delayed pattern (26.1 %), and by the intermediate pattern (22.1 %). All the evaluated rainfall characteristics have high response capacity in describing localities and rainfall patterns through PCA and CDA. In CDA, the Tukey test (p<0.05) applied to the scores of the first canonical discriminant function (CDF1) allowed differentiation of the stations with respect to the rainfall and erosivity characteristics for the advanced and delayed patterns. In the delayed pattern, the localities of Angra dos Reis, Campos, Eletrobrás, Manuel Duarte, Santa Isabel do Rio Preto, Tanguá, Teresópolis, Vila Mambucaba, and Xerém had the highest CDF1 scores, indicating that they have rainfalls with higher depth, I30, and duration because the standardized canonical coefficient (SCC) and the correlation coefficient (“r”) of these characteristics were positive. The rainfall events in the state of Rio de Janeiro differ from one locality to another in relation to the advanced and delayed rainfall patterns, mainly due to the physical characteristics of rainfall depth, I30, and duration, indicating a higher risk of soil loss and runoff in the localities where rainfall events with the delayed pattern prevail.</p></div>