27 Apr 2022
27 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Landscape structure and rainstorms swing the response of recession nonlinearity

Jun-Yi Lee1,2, Ci-Jian Yang2,3, Tsung-Ren Peng1, Tsung-Yu Lee4, and Jr-Chuan Huang2 Jun-Yi Lee et al.
  • 1Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402202, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106319, Taiwan
  • 3German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Telegrafenberg, Potsdam 14473, Germany
  • 4Department of Geography, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 106209, Taiwan

Abstract. Streamflow recession discloses hydrological functioning, runoff dynamics, and storage status within catchments. Understanding recession response to landscape structure and rainstorms can be a guidance for assessing streamflow change under climate change. Yet, the documented response direction of recession is inconsistent and diverse. This study tested how landscape structure and rainstorms regulate the response direction. We derived recession rate, a, and nonlinearity, b, from power-law recession (-dQ/dt = aQb) in 19 subtropical catchments with a broad spectrum of 260 rainstorms. Results showed that the recession rate increases with the drainage density and L / G ratio (flow-path length over gradient), indicating that the catchments with the dense network or more short-and-gentle hillslopes would result in high rates. Apart from landscape structure, the rate surprisingly decreases with rainstorm amount. Probably because rainstorm facilitates connectivity in the saturated zones, which might conjoin more water from slow reservoirs and thus water drains slowly. Additionally, the recession nonlinearity increases with spatial heterogeneity (drainage area) but decreases with hillslope hydraulics (drainage density). The swing of response direction, which lies in the predominance between spatial heterogeneity and hillslope hydraulics, needs further clarification, particularly for regional recession assessment under climate changes. Incorrect response direction from landscape structure would lead to considerable bias inference.

Jun-Yi Lee et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-88', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jr-Chuan Huang, 26 Oct 2022
  • RC2: 'Review of hess-2022-88', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jr-Chuan Huang, 26 Oct 2022

Jun-Yi Lee et al.


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Short summary
Landscape controls the intermediate state of streamflow recession and its response to a rainstorm. Short-and-gentle flow paths lead to a quick and linear recession. Rainfall decelerates recession, but increases the nonlinearity of recession of large area or decreases that in gentle landscape. The contrasting response lies in the predominance between hillslope heterogeneity and hydraulics, which needs further clarification for regional recession assessment under climate change.