Effects of the prewhitening method, the time granularity and the time segmentation on the Mann-Kendall trend detection and the associated Sen's slope Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The most widely used non-parametric method for trend analysis is the Mann-Kendall test associated with the Sen's slope. The Mann-Kendall test requires serially uncorrelated time series, whereas most of the atmospheric processes exhibit positive autocorrelation. Several prewhitening methods have been designed to overcome the presence of lag-1 autocorrelation. These include a prewhitening, a detrending and/or a correction for the detrended slope and the original variance of the time series. The choice of which prewhitening method and temporal segmentation to apply has consequences for the statistical significance, the value of the slope and of the confidence limits. Here, the effects of various prewhitening methods are analyzed for seven time series comprising in-situ aerosol measurements (scattering coefficient, absorption coefficient, number concentration and aerosol optical depth), Raman Lidar water vapor mixing ratio and the tropopause and zero degree levels measured by radio-sounding. These time series are characterized by a broad variety of distributions, ranges and lag-1 autocorrelation values and vary in length between 10 and 60 years. A common way to work around the autocorrelation problem is to decrease it by averaging the data over longer time intervals than in the original time series. Thus, the second focus of this study is evaluation of the effect of time granularity on long-term trend analysis. Finally, a new algorithm involving three prewhitening methods is proposed in order to maximize the power of the test, to minimize the amount of erroneous detected trends in the absence of a real trend and to ensure the best slope estimate for the considered length of the time series.;

publication date

  • June 17, 2020

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • July 8, 2023 4:57 AM

Full Author List

  • Collaud Coen M; Andrews E; Bigi A; Romanens G; Martucci G; Vuilleumier L

author count

  • 6

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