Articles | Volume 25, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 429–446, 2021
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 429–446, 2021

Research article 28 Jan 2021

Research article | 28 Jan 2021

Progressive water deficits during multiyear droughts in basins with long hydrological memory in Chile

Camila Alvarez-Garreton et al.

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Cited articles

Agboma, C. O. and Lye, L. M.: Hydrologic memory patterns assessment over a drought-prone Canadian prairies catchment, J. Hydrol. Eng., 20, 1–11,, 2015. 
Alvarez-Garreton, C.: CAMELS-CL explorer, available at: (last access: 31 May 2020), 2018. 
Alvarez-Garreton, C., Mendoza, P. A., Boisier, J. P., Addor, N., Galleguillos, M., Zambrano-Bigiarini, M., Lara, A., Puelma, C., Cortes, G., Garreaud, R., McPhee, J., and Ayala, A.: The CAMELS-CL dataset: catchment attributes and meteorology for large sample studies – Chile dataset, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5817–5846,, 2018. 
Alvarez-Garreton, C., Lara, A., Boisier, J. P., and Galleguillos, M.: The Impacts of Native Forests and Forest Plantations on Water Supply in Chile, Forests, 10, 473,, 2019. 
Anderson, M. G. and Burt, T. P.: Role of Topography in Controlling Throughflow Generation, Earth Surf. Process., 3, 331–344,, 1978. 
Short summary
The megadrought experienced in Chile (2010–2020) has led to larger than expected water deficits. By analysing 106 basins with snow-/rainfall regimes, we relate such intensification with the hydrological memory of the basins, explained by snow and groundwater. Snow-dominated basins have larger memory and thus accumulate the effect of persistent precipitation deficits more strongly than pluvial basins. This notably affects central Chile, a water-limited region where most of the population lives.