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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-554
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-554
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Dec 2019

13 Dec 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

The influence of global climate and local hydrological variations over streamflow extremes: The tropical-mountain case

Juan Contreras1, Daniel Mendoza2, Jheimy Pacheco3, and Alex Avilés1 Juan Contreras et al.
  • 1Carrera de Ingeniería Ambiental, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Cuenca, Av. 12 de abril s/n y Loja, Cuenca, 010203, Ecuador
  • 2Carrera de Ingeniería Civil & Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Cuenca, Av. 12 de abril s/n y Loja, Cuenca, 010203, Ecuador
  • 3Instituto de Estudios de Régimen Seccional del Ecuador (IERSE), Universidad del Azuay, Av. 24 de mayo 7-77 y Hernán Malo, Cuenca, 010204, Ecuador

Abstract. Hydrological extremes such as floods and droughts are the most common and threatening natural disasters worldwide. Particularly, tropical Andean headwaters systems are prone to hazards due to their complex climate conditions. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms triggering such extremes events. In this study, the Generalized Additive Models for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS) were used for investigating the relations between the Annual-Peak-Flows (APF) and Annual-Low-Flows (ALF), respecting to climate and land use/land cover (LULC) changes. Thirty years of daily streamflow data-sets taken from two Andean catchments of southern Ecuador are used for the experimental research. Global climate indices (CI), describing the large-scale climate variability were used as hypothetical drivers explaining the extreme's variations on streamflow measures. Additionally, the Antecedent-Cumulative-Precipitation (AP) and the Standardized-Precipitation-Index (SPI), and LULC percentages were also included as possible direct drivers – synthetizing local climate conditions and localized hydrological changes. The results indicate that AP and SPI clearly explain the extreme streamflow variability. Nonetheless, global variables play a significant role underneath the local climate. For instance, ENSO and CAR exert influence over the APF, while ENSO, TSA, PDO and AMO control ALF. Furthermore, it was found that LULC changes strongly influence both extremes; although this is particularly important for relative more disturbed catchments. These results provide valuable insights for future forecasting of floods and droughts based on precipitation and climate indices, and for the development of mitigation strategies for mountain catchments.

Juan Contreras et al.

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Juan Contreras et al.

Juan Contreras et al.

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Short summary
The global and local drivers of hydrological extremes were explored for mountain catchments. Main findings indicate that hydrological extremes are controlled by changes in antecedent precipitation and by a lesser degree by land cover changes. Land cover changes take importance when the catchment is degraded. ENSO and CAR exert influence over the high flows, while ENSO, TSA, PDO and AMO control low flows. Results provide insights for modelling of hydrological extremes.
The global and local drivers of hydrological extremes were explored for mountain catchments....
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