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Change in streamflow response in unregulated catchments in Sweden over the last century


Åkesson, Anna; Wörman, Anders; Riml, Joakim; Seibert, Jan (2016). Change in streamflow response in unregulated catchments in Sweden over the last century. Water Resources Research, 52(8):5847-5867.

Abstract

A Fourier spectral analysis of daily discharge time series over the last century in 79 unregulated catchments in Sweden reveals a significant gradual steepening of the discharge power spectrum slope over time. Where historical meteorological observations are available (the 41 southernmost catchments), the results of our analyses indicate that local land use changes within the catchments have affected discharge power spectra to a greater extent than have changes in precipitation patterns. 1-D distributed routing analysis based on current and historical maps and scenario modeling in the Törnestorp Catchment suggests that changes in stream network properties have led to increases in the hydraulic Péclet number ( math formula) and subsequent decreases in the discharge power spectrum over short periods. The analysis displays analytically how a change in stream network properties can result in changes in the power spectra, where the relative importance of the geomorphological and hydrodynamic dispersion effects determines the shape of the streamflow response. The lowering of the discharge power spectrum over short periods observed for many Swedish catchments is likely caused by increasing math formula (a decrease in dispersion) over time, resulting in higher peak values, especially for rapid streamflow responses (i.e., over short periods), demonstrated empirically for the Törnestorp case study. The finding that the discharge power spectrum can change significantly over time highlights the need for hydrological models to account for the effect of the nonstationarity of parameters that result from temporal change caused by land use change and/or climate change that is due to anthropogenic or natural causes.

Abstract

A Fourier spectral analysis of daily discharge time series over the last century in 79 unregulated catchments in Sweden reveals a significant gradual steepening of the discharge power spectrum slope over time. Where historical meteorological observations are available (the 41 southernmost catchments), the results of our analyses indicate that local land use changes within the catchments have affected discharge power spectra to a greater extent than have changes in precipitation patterns. 1-D distributed routing analysis based on current and historical maps and scenario modeling in the Törnestorp Catchment suggests that changes in stream network properties have led to increases in the hydraulic Péclet number ( math formula) and subsequent decreases in the discharge power spectrum over short periods. The analysis displays analytically how a change in stream network properties can result in changes in the power spectra, where the relative importance of the geomorphological and hydrodynamic dispersion effects determines the shape of the streamflow response. The lowering of the discharge power spectrum over short periods observed for many Swedish catchments is likely caused by increasing math formula (a decrease in dispersion) over time, resulting in higher peak values, especially for rapid streamflow responses (i.e., over short periods), demonstrated empirically for the Törnestorp case study. The finding that the discharge power spectrum can change significantly over time highlights the need for hydrological models to account for the effect of the nonstationarity of parameters that result from temporal change caused by land use change and/or climate change that is due to anthropogenic or natural causes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:25 Jan 2017 09:39
Last Modified:05 Feb 2017 01:00
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/2015WR018116

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