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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Jan 2020

27 Jan 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

65-year changes of annual streamflow volumes across Europe with a focus on the Mediterranean basin

Daniele Masseroni1, Stefania Camici2, Alessio Cislaghi1,3, Giorgio Vacchiano1,3, Christian Massari2, and Luca Brocca2 Daniele Masseroni et al.
  • 1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
  • 2Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, National Research Council, Via Madonna Alta 126, 06128 Perugia, Italy
  • 3Centre of Applied Studies for the Sustainable Management and Protection of Mountain Areas (Ge.S.Di.Mont), University of Milan, Via Morino 8, Edolo, 25048 Brescia, Italy

Abstract. Determining the spatio-temporal variability of annual streamflow volume plays a relevant role in hydrology for improving and implementing sustainable and resilient policies and practices of water resource management. This study investigates annual streamflow volume trends in a newly-assembled, consolidated and validated dataset of daily mean river flow records from more than 3,000 stations, which cover near-natural basins in more than 40 countries across Europe. Although the dataset contains streamflow time-series from 1850 to 2015 in some stations, the statistical analyses were carried out by including observations from 1950 to 2015 in order to have a consistent and reliable dataset over the continent. Trends were detected calculating the slope of Theil-Sen's line over the annual anomalies of streamflow volume.

The results show annual streamflow volume trends emerged at European scale, with a marked negative tendency in Mediterranean regions (about −1 × 103 m3/(km2 year)) and a generally positive trend in northern ones (about 0.5 × 103 m3/(km2 year)). The annual streamflow volume trend patterns appear in agreement with the continental-scale climate change observations in response to climate change drivers. In the Mediterranean area, the declining of annual streamflow volumes started in 1965 and since early 80' volumes are consistently lower than the average.

The spatio-temporal annual streamflow volume patterns observed in this work can help to contextualize short-term trends and regional studies already available in the scientific literature as well as to provide a valid benchmark for further accurate quantitative analysis on annual streamflow volumes.

Daniele Masseroni et al.

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Daniele Masseroni et al.

Daniele Masseroni et al.


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Latest update: 28 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We evaluate 65-year changes of annual streamflow volume across Europe using a dataset of more than 3,000 stations, with a special focus in the Mediterranean basin. The results show decreasing volumes in the southern regions and vice versa in northern one. These trends are strongly consistent with the changes in temperature and precipitations.
We evaluate 65-year changes of annual streamflow volume across Europe using a dataset of more...