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Streamflow timing of mountain rivers in Spain: Recent changes and future projections

AutorMorán-Tejeda, Enrique ; Lorenzo-Lacruz, Jorge ; López-Moreno, Juan I. ; Rahman, Kazi; Beniston, Martin
Palabras claveIberian mountains
Streamflow timing
Peak flows
Climate warming
Fecha de publicación2014
CitaciónJournal of Hydrology 517: 1114-1127 (2014)
ResumenChanges in streamflow timing are studied in 27 mountain rivers in Spain, in the context of climate warming. The studied rivers are characterized by a highflows period in spring due to snowmelt, although differences in the role of snow and consequently in the timing of flows are observed amongst cases. We calculated for every year of the studied period (1976-2008) various hydrological indices that enable locating the timing of spring flows within the annual hydrologic regime, including the day of 75% of mass, and the day of spring maximum. The evolution of these indices was compared with that of seasonal precipitation and temperature, and trends in time were calculated. Results show a general negative trend in the studied indices which indicates that spring peaks due to snowmelt are shifting earlier within the hydrological year. Spring temperatures, which show a significant increasing trend, are the main co-variable responsible for the observed changes in the streamflow timing. In a second set of analyses we performed hydrological simulations with the SWAT model, in order to estimate changes in streamflow timing under projected warming temperatures. Projections show further shifting of spring peak flows along with a more pronounced low water level period in the summer. The simulations also allowed quantifying the role of snowfall-snowmelt on the observed changes in streamflow. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.06.053
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.06.053
issn: 0022-1694
e-issn: 1879-2707
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