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Use of streamflow indices to identify the catchment drivers of hydrographs

Mathai, Jeenu and Mujumdar, Pradeep P (2022) Use of streamflow indices to identify the catchment drivers of hydrographs. In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26 (8). pp. 2019-2033. ISSN 1607-7938

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-2019-2022


Time irreversibility or temporal asymmetry refers to the steeper ascending and gradual descending parts of a streamflow hydrograph. The primary goal of this study is to bring out the distinction between streamflow indices directly linked with rising limbs and falling limbs and to explore their utility in uncovering processes associated with the steeper ascending and gradual descending limbs of the hydrograph within the time-irreversibility paradigm. Different streamflow indices are correlated with the rising and falling limbs and the catchment attributes. The key attributes governing rising and falling limbs are then identified. The contribution of the work is on differentiating hydrographs by their time irreversibility features and offering an alternative way to recognize primary drivers of streamflow hydrographs. A series of spatial maps describing the streamflow indices and their regional variability in the Contiguous United States (CONUS) is introduced here. These indices complement the catchment attributes provided earlier (Addor et al., 2017) for the CAMELS data set. The findings of the study revealed that the elevation, fraction of precipitation falling as snow and depth to bedrock mainly characterize the rising limb density, whereas the aridity and frequency of precipitation influence the rising limb scale parameter. Moreover, the rising limb shape parameter is primarily influenced by the forest fraction, the fraction of precipitation falling as snow, mean slope, mean elevation, sand fraction, and precipitation frequency. It is noted that falling limb density is mainly governed by climate indices, mean elevation, and the fraction of precipitation falling as snow; however, the recession coefficients are controlled by mean elevation, mean slope, clay, the fraction of precipitation falling as snow, forest fraction, and sand fraction.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: Catchments; Forestry; Runoff; Stream flow, Data set; Hydrographs; Key attributes; Regional variability; Sand fraction; Scale parameter; Spatial maps; Streamflow hydrograph; Streamflow indices; Time irreversibility, Snow
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 21 May 2022 06:16
Last Modified: 21 May 2022 06:16
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/72355

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