This study investigates the long-term trends in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient in major urban watersheds in the United States. The seasonal Mann–Kendall trend test was performed on monthly precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient data from 1950 to 2009 obtained from 62 urban watersheds covering 21 major urban centers in the United States. The results indicate that only five out of 21 urban centers in the United States showed an uptrend in precipitation. Twelve urban centers showed an uptrend in runoff coefficient. However, six urban centers did not show any trend in runoff coefficient, and three urban centers showed a significant downtrend. The highest rate of change in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient was observed in the Houston urban watershed. Based on the results obtained, we also attributed plausible causes for the trends. Our analysis indicated that while a human only influence is observed in most of the urban watersheds, a combined climate and human influence is observed in the central United States.
Additional publication details
Analysis of long-term trends (1950–2009) in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient in major urban watersheds in the United States
Environmental Research Letters
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center