Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-5
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-5
20 Jan 2021
 | 20 Jan 2021
Status: 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.

Drought-induced non-stationarity in the rainfall-runoff relationship invalidates the role of control catchment at the Red Hill paired-catchment experimental site

Yunfan Zhang, Lei Cheng, Lu Zhang, Shujing Qin, Liu Liu, Pan Liu, Yanghe Liu, and Jun Xia

Abstract. The most widely used approaches for estimating impacts of vegetation changes on runoff are the paired-catchment method, the time-trend analysis method, and the sensitivity-based method. These three methods have yielded consistent results in many paired-catchment studies, except at the Red Hill experimental site in Australia. However, reasons for the inconsistency have not yet been identified. The objective of this study was to identify the reasons for the inconsistency amongst results using observations of two paired catchments from 1990 to 2015. Results from these three methods showed that afforestation accounted for 32.8 %, 93.5 %, and 76.1 % of total runoff changes, respectively. The inconsistency in results were still apparent even the longest available observation record was used. The rainfall-runoff relationship of the control catchment has been used only in the paired-catchment method. This relationship was confirmed to become non-stationary during the pre- and post-calibration periods due to a 10-year prolonged drought, leading to the inconsistency amongst results. By eliminating drought's effects on the rainfall-runoff relationship of the control catchment, afforestation’s contribution to runoff reduction was 73.4 % using the paired-catchment method, agreeing well the other two methods. This study not only revealed the reason for the inconsistent results that had long been observed at the famous experimental site, but also proved, using experimental observations, that prolonged drought can induce non-stationary rainfall-runoff relationship in catchment. It also demonstrated that the stationarity test is vital for correct use of historical time series and effective research on ecological hydrology in the case of frequent extreme climate.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Yunfan Zhang, Lei Cheng, Lu Zhang, Shujing Qin, Liu Liu, Pan Liu, Yanghe Liu, and Jun Xia

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-5', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Lei Cheng, 27 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-5', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Lei Cheng, 27 Apr 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-5', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Lei Cheng, 27 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-5', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Lei Cheng, 27 Apr 2021
Yunfan Zhang, Lei Cheng, Lu Zhang, Shujing Qin, Liu Liu, Pan Liu, Yanghe Liu, and Jun Xia
Yunfan Zhang, Lei Cheng, Lu Zhang, Shujing Qin, Liu Liu, Pan Liu, Yanghe Liu, and Jun Xia

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