Updating estimates of low-streamflow statistics to account for possible trends

Hydrologic Sciences Journal
By: , and 

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Abstract

Accurate estimators of streamflow statistics are critical to the design, planning, and management of water resources. Given increasing evidence of trends in low-streamflow, new approaches to estimating low-streamflow statistics are needed. Here we investigate simple approaches to select a recent subset of the low-flow record to update the commonly used statistic of 7Q10, the annual minimum 7-day streamflow exceeded in 9 out of 10 years on average. Informed by low-streamflow records at 174 US Geological Survey streamgages, Monte Carlo simulation experiments evaluate competing approaches. We find that a strategy which estimates 7Q10 using the most recent 30 years of record when a trend is detected, reduces error and bias in 7Q10 estimators compared to use of the full record. This simple rule-based approach has potential as the basis for a framework for updating frequency-based statistics in the context of possible trends.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Updating estimates of low-streamflow statistics to account for possible trends
Series title Hydrologic Sciences Journal
DOI 10.1080/02626667.2019.1655148
Volume 6
Issue 12
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) WMA - Integrated Modeling and Prediction Division
Description 11 p.
First page 1404
Last page 1414
Country United States
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