dr. Irina Yu. Petrova

My main research interest focuses on understanding feedbacks between the land and lower atmosphere. My research goal is to evaluate which physical processesIrina Petrova involved in land­–atmosphere interactions affect development and variability of convective rainfall, as well as drought dynamics. My research is largely focused on the analysis of novel multi-year satellite data products on daily and meso-scales, i.e. 10-100 km. My main expertise covers semi-arid regions, in particular West Africa.

I am also interested in exploration of the potential and limitations of novel statistical approaches for climate related tasks. My earlier work has focused on the application of complex networks to the problem of precipitation–evaporation relationship in observations, as well as its representation in GCMs.Among others I was involved in the assessment of atmospheric transport of pollutants using backward and forward trajectory analyses. Studies on the identification of pollutant sources, specifically radioactive noble gases and ozone were carried out within the framework of the international ISTC-2133 and CEEH projects (for details see section projects).

Within the DRY–2–DRY project I will be investigating how processes involved in land-atmosphere feedbacks influence duration and intensification of droughts.


Research topics: land–atmosphere interactions, convection development, droughts, novel approaches in statistics, remote sensing, boundary layer dynamics.


Address: Coupure links 653 - Room A2.010

               9000 Ghent, Belgium

Phone: +32 9 264 61 40




  • DRY–2–DRY (ERC): Do droughts self-propagate and self-intensify? (2017–2022)
  • CEEH: Danish Centre for Energy, Environment and Health (2007–2012)
  • ISTC-2133: Development of methodical bases and mobile equipment for monitoring of Xe and Kr radionuclides in the North-West region of Russia (2008–2010)


  1. Petrova, I.Y. Miralles, D.G., van Heerwaarden, C.C., Wouters, H. (2018): Relation between Convective Rainfall Properties and Antecedent Soil Moisture Heterogeneity Conditions in North Africa. Remote Sensing10, 969.
  2. Petrova I., van Heerwaarden C., Hohenegger C., Bakan S. (2018): Regional co-variability of spatial and temporal soil moisture – precipitation coupling in the African Sahel: an observational perspective, J. of Hydrometeorology, 22, 3275-3294.
  3.  Donges J.F., Petrova I., Loew A., N. Marwan and Kurths J. (2015): How complex climate networks complement eigen techniques for the statistical analysis of climatological data, J. of Climate Dynamics, DOI:10.1007/s00382-015-2479-3.
  4. Mahura A., Nuterman R., Petrova I., Amstrup B. (2013): Atmospheric trajectory and chemical transport modeling for elevated ozone events in Denmark. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 3, 87-99, DOI: 10.4236/acs.2013.31011.
  5.  Petrova I., Mahura A.,Smyshlyaev S., Dubasob Yu.,Pakhomov S. (2010): Identification of Noble Gases Sources using Atmospheric Trajectory Modelling. Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Scientific Report 10-03, ISBN: 978-87-7478-603-0.