01 Aug 2023
 | 01 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

On the regional-scale streamflow variability using flow duration curve

Pankaj Dey, Jeenu Mathai, Murugesu Sivapalan, and Pradeep Mujumdar

Abstract. As each catchment responds uniquely, even if they appear similar, formulating generalizable hypotheses and using routinely used signatures of catchment similarity to examine streamflow variability can be difficult. Flow Duration Curve (FDC), a concise portrayal of streamflow variability at a specific gauging station, can provide insights into hydroclimatic and landscape processes occurring at a wide range of space and time scales that govern flow regimes in a region. This study explores the suitability of partitioning of annual streamflow FDC into seasonal FDCs, and total streamflow FDC into fast and slow flow FDCs to unravel the process controls on FDCs at a regional scale, with application to low-gradient rivers flowing east from the Western Ghats of Peninsular India. The focus is on investigation of the controls of common regional landscape features (in space) and seasonal climatic (in time) variations on regional variations of the FDC. Findings of the study indicate that bimodal rainfall seasonality and higher fraction of moderate to good groundwater potential zones explains the higher contribution of slow flow to total flow across north-south gradient of the region. Shapes of fast and slow FDCs are controlled by recession parameters revealing the role of climate seasonality and geologic profiles, respectively. A systematic spatial variation across north-south gradient is observed– highlighting the importance of coherent functioning of landscape-hydroclimate settings in imparting distinct signature of streamflow variability. The framework is useful to discover the role of time and process controls on streamflow variability in a region with seasonal hydroclimatology and hydro-geologic gradients.

Pankaj Dey 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-2023-178', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Aug 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-178', Chris Leong, 03 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2023-178', Anonymous Referee #3, 07 Sep 2023

Pankaj Dey et al.

Data sets

IMD New High Spatial Resolution (0.25X0.25 degree) Long Period (1901-2022) Daily Gridded Rainfall Data Set Over India. D. S. Pai, Latha Sridhar, M. Rajeevan, O. P. Sreejith, N. S. Satbhai, and B. Mukhopadhyay

India Water Resources Information System for observed streamflow datasets Central Water Commision, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India

Pankaj Dey et al.


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Short summary
This study explores the regional streamflow variability in Peninsular India – which is governed by monsoons, mountainous systems and geologic gradients. A linkage between these influencers and streamflow variability is established.