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A simultaneous analysis of gradual and abrupt changes in Canadian low streamflows.

Ehsanzadeh, Eghbal; Ouarda, Taha B. M. J.; Saley, Hadiza M. (2011). A simultaneous analysis of gradual and abrupt changes in Canadian low streamflows. Hydrological Processes , vol. 25 , nº 5. p. 727-739. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7861.

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Résumé

In most studies, trend detection is performed under the assumption of a monotonic trend. However, natural processes and, in particular, hydro‐climatic variables may not conform to this assumption. This study performs a simultaneous evaluation of gradual and abrupt changes in Canadian low streamflows using a modified Mann–Kendall (MK) trend test and a Bayesian multiple change‐point detection model. Statistical analysis, using the whole record of observation (under a monotonic trend assumption), shows that winter and summer low flows are dominated by upward and downward trends, respectively. Overall, about 20% of low flows are characterized by significant trends, where ∼80% of detected significant trends are upward (downward) for winter (summer) season. Change‐point analysis shows that over 50% of low‐flow time series experienced at least one abrupt change in mean or in direction of trend, of which ∼50% occurred in 1980s with a mode in 1987. Analysis of segmented time series based on a common change‐point date indicates a reduced number of significant trends, which is attributed to first, the change in nonstationarity behaviour of low flows leading to less trend‐type changes in the last few decades; and second, the false detection of trends when the sample data are characterized by shifts in mean. Depending on whether the monotonic trend assumption holds, the on‐site and regional interpretation of results may vary (e.g. winter low flow) or even lead to contradictory conclusions (e.g. summer low flow). Trend analysis of last two decades of streamflows shows that (1) winter low flows are increasing in eastern Canada and southern British Columbia, whereas they are decreasing in western Canada; (2) summer low flows are increasing in central Canada, southern British Columbia and Newfoundland, whereas they are decreasing in Yukon and northern British Columbia and also in eastern Ontario and Quebec.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: trend detection; Bayesian shift analysis; Mann–Kendall test; low flow
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 11 janv. 2021 16:46
Dernière modification: 11 janv. 2021 16:46
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/10654

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