Previous studies either did not identify abrupt change or identified such change but did not exclude it from the detection of trend in streamflow. As a result, an overall downward trend might be erroneously detected as an upward trend because of abrupt increase, while an overall upward trend could be faked as a downward trend due to abrupt decrease. The objectives of this study were to: (1) present a methodology to analyze trend in streamflow in the presence of abrupt change; and (2) use this methodology to detect trend and extreme occurrence of streamflow in the Upper Balagaer River watershed, a mid-latitude nearly pristine precipitation-fed Eurasian steppe watershed in north China. The results indicate that streamflow abruptly decreased around 1994 and exhibited no significant trend from 1960 to 1993 but a significant decrease trend since 1994 (in particular after 1999). In addition, the occurrence of days with a low streamflow was greater after 1994, whereas the occurrence of days with a high streamflow was smaller. Further, the inclusion of the abrupt change in the analysis could compound the detection of the pre-1994 trends but had minimal influences on the detection of the post-1994 trends. These results can be representative across the Eurasian steppe region beyond the study watershed.
Research Article|May 28 2015
Temporal variations of streamflow in a mid-latitude Eurasian steppe watershed in the past half century
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA and College of Water Conservancy and Civil Engineering, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 010018, China
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Xixi Wang; Temporal variations of streamflow in a mid-latitude Eurasian steppe watershed in the past half century. Hydrology Research 1 February 2016; 47 (1): 185–200. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2015.063
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