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An analysis of streamflow trends in the southern and southeastern US from 1950-2015

November 29, 2020
In this article, the mean daily streamflow at 139 streamflow-gaging stations (sites) in the southern and southeastern United States are analyzed for spatial and temporal patterns. One hundred and thirty-nine individual time-series of mean daily streamflow were reduced to five aggregated time series of Z scores for clusters of sites with similar temporal variability. These aggregated time-series correlated significantly with a time-series of several climate indices for the period 1950–2015. The mean daily streamflow data were subset into six time periods—starting in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000, and each ending in 2015, to determine how streamflow trends at individual sites acted over time. During the period 1950–2015, mean monthly and seasonal streamflow decreased at many sites based on results from traditional Mann–Kendall trend analyses, as well as results from a new analysis (Quantile-Kendall) that summarizes trends across the full range of streamflows. A trend departure index used to compare results from non-reference with reference sites identified that streamflow trends at 88% of the study sites have been influenced by non-climatic factors (such as land- and water-management practices) and that the majority of these sites were located in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia. Analysis of the results found that for sites throughout the study area that were influenced primarily by climate rather than human activities, the step increase in streamflow in 1970 documented in previous studies was offset by subsequent monotonic decreases in streamflow between 1970 and 2015. View Full-Text

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title An analysis of streamflow trends in the southern and southeastern US from 1950-2015
DOI 10.3390/w12123345
Authors Kirk D. Rodgers, Victor L. Roland, Anne B. Hoos, Elena Crowley-Ornelas, Rodney Knight
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Series Number
Index ID 70216731
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center