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Title: Full-flow-regime storage-streamflow correlation patterns provide insights into hydrologic functioning over the continental US

Abstract

Interannual changes in low, median, and high regimes of streamflow have important implications for flood control, irrigation, and ecologic and human health. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites record global terrestrial water storage anomalies (TWSA), providing an opportunity to observe, interpret, and potentially utilize the complex relationships between storage and full-flow-regime streamflow. Here we show that utilizable storage-streamflow correlations exist throughout vastly different climates in the continental US (CONUS) across low- to high-flow regimes. A panoramic framework, the storage-streamflow correlation spectrum (SSCS), is proposed to examine macroscopic gradients in these relationships. SSCS helps form, corroborate or reject hypotheses about basin hydrologic behaviors. SSCS patterns vary greatly over CONUS with climate, land surface, and geologic conditions. Data mining analysis suggests that for catchments with hydrologic settings that favor storage over runoff, e.g., a large fraction of precipitation as snow, thick and highly-permeable permeable soil, SSCS values tend to be high. Based on our results, we form the hypotheses that groundwater flow dominates streamflows in South-eastern CONUS and Great Plains, while thin soils in a belt along the Appalachian Plateau impose a limit on water storage. SSCS also suggests shallow water table caused by high-bulk density soil and flat terrainmore » induces rapid runoff in several regions. Our results highlight the importance of subsurface properties and groundwater flow in capturing flood and drought. Finally, we propose that SSCS can be used as a fundamental hydrologic signature to constrain models and to provide insights that lead us to better understand hydrologic functioning.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United Sates). Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1532998
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010620
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; environmental sciences & ecology; marine & freshwater biology; water resources; storage-streamflow relationship; base flow; GRACE; hydrologic signature; catchment classification; hydrologic machine learning

Citation Formats

Fang, Kuai, and Shen, Chaopeng. Full-flow-regime storage-streamflow correlation patterns provide insights into hydrologic functioning over the continental US. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2016wr020283.
Fang, Kuai, & Shen, Chaopeng. Full-flow-regime storage-streamflow correlation patterns provide insights into hydrologic functioning over the continental US. United States. doi:10.1002/2016wr020283.
Fang, Kuai, and Shen, Chaopeng. Thu . "Full-flow-regime storage-streamflow correlation patterns provide insights into hydrologic functioning over the continental US". United States. doi:10.1002/2016wr020283. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1532998.
@article{osti_1532998,
title = {Full-flow-regime storage-streamflow correlation patterns provide insights into hydrologic functioning over the continental US},
author = {Fang, Kuai and Shen, Chaopeng},
abstractNote = {Interannual changes in low, median, and high regimes of streamflow have important implications for flood control, irrigation, and ecologic and human health. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites record global terrestrial water storage anomalies (TWSA), providing an opportunity to observe, interpret, and potentially utilize the complex relationships between storage and full-flow-regime streamflow. Here we show that utilizable storage-streamflow correlations exist throughout vastly different climates in the continental US (CONUS) across low- to high-flow regimes. A panoramic framework, the storage-streamflow correlation spectrum (SSCS), is proposed to examine macroscopic gradients in these relationships. SSCS helps form, corroborate or reject hypotheses about basin hydrologic behaviors. SSCS patterns vary greatly over CONUS with climate, land surface, and geologic conditions. Data mining analysis suggests that for catchments with hydrologic settings that favor storage over runoff, e.g., a large fraction of precipitation as snow, thick and highly-permeable permeable soil, SSCS values tend to be high. Based on our results, we form the hypotheses that groundwater flow dominates streamflows in South-eastern CONUS and Great Plains, while thin soils in a belt along the Appalachian Plateau impose a limit on water storage. SSCS also suggests shallow water table caused by high-bulk density soil and flat terrain induces rapid runoff in several regions. Our results highlight the importance of subsurface properties and groundwater flow in capturing flood and drought. Finally, we propose that SSCS can be used as a fundamental hydrologic signature to constrain models and to provide insights that lead us to better understand hydrologic functioning.},
doi = {10.1002/2016wr020283},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 9,
volume = 53,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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