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Characterizing the spatial correlation of daily streamflows

Title data

Betterle, Andrea ; Schirmer, Mario ; Botter, Gianluca:
Characterizing the spatial correlation of daily streamflows.
In: Water Resources Research. Vol. 53 (2017) Issue 2 . - pp. 1646-1663.
ISSN 1944-7973
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019195

Abstract in another language

In this study we propose an analytical framework to estimate the spatial correlation of daily flows in two arbitrary locations within a given hydrologic district or river basin. The method builds on the description of the coupled streamflow dynamics at the outlet of two catchments, which are represented as correlated shot noises forced by Poisson rainfall. Novel analytical expressions for the spatial correlation of discharge are derived using a limited number of parameters that encapsulate effective precipitation regime and catchment drainage rates. The method is suited to describe how heterogeneity of climate and landscape features impact the spatial and temporal variability of flow regimes along river systems. The analysis suggests that frequency and intensity of synchronous effective rainfall events in the relevant contributing catchments are the main driver of the spatial correlation of daily discharge, unless the drainage rates of the two catchments differ by almost one order of magnitude. The method also portrays how the topological arrangement of the two outlets along the river network influences the underlying streamflow correlation, and shows how nested catchments tend to maximize the spatial correlation of flow regimes. To demonstrate the potential of the tool, the model is tested on a set of sixteen catchments belonging to a 120,000 km2 region of the United States. The application evidences satisfactory performance (RMSE < 0.1). The approach provides a clue for the characterization of water availability in space at seasonal time scale, with implications for water resources assessment, risk prevention and ecological studies.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER139734
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2018 09:57
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2018 09:57
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/41151