Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.256 IF 4.256
  • IF 5-year value: 4.819 IF 5-year
    4.819
  • CiteScore value: 4.10 CiteScore
    4.10
  • SNIP value: 1.412 SNIP 1.412
  • SJR value: 2.023 SJR 2.023
  • IPP value: 3.97 IPP 3.97
  • h5-index value: 58 h5-index 58
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 99 Scimago H
    index 99
Volume 19, issue 1 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 379-387, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-379-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 21 Jan 2015

Research article | 21 Jan 2015

Climate and hydrological variability: the catchment filtering role

I. Andrés-Doménech1, R. García-Bartual1, A. Montanari2, and J. B. Marco1 I. Andrés-Doménech et al.
  • 1Instituto Universitario de Investigación de Ingeniería del Agua y Medio Ambiente, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
  • 2Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università di Bologna, Via del Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy

Abstract. Measuring the impact of climate change on flood frequency is a complex and controversial task. Identifying hydrological changes is difficult given the factors, other than climate variability, which lead to significant variations in runoff series. The catchment filtering role is often overlooked and thus may hinder the correct identification of climate variability signatures on hydrological processes. Does climate variability necessarily imply hydrological variability? This research aims to analytically derive the flood frequency distribution based on realistic hypotheses about the rainfall process and the rainfall–runoff transformation. The annual maximum peak flow probability distribution is analytically derived to quantify the filtering effect of the rainfall–runoff process on climate change. A sensitivity analysis is performed according to typical semi-arid Mediterranean climatic and hydrological conditions, assuming a simple but common scheme for the rainfall–runoff transformation in small-size ungauged catchments, i.e. the CN-SCS model. Variability in annual maximum peak flows and its statistical significance are analysed when changes in the climatic input are introduced. Results show that depending on changes in the annual number of rainfall events, the catchment filtering role is particularly significant, especially when the event rainfall volume distribution is not strongly skewed. Results largely depend on the return period: for large return periods, peak flow variability is significantly affected by the climatic input, while for lower return periods, infiltration processes smooth out the impact of climate change.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Does climate variability necessarily imply hydrological variability? This paper analyses the catchment filtering role by analytically deriving the annual maximum peak flow frequency distribution based on realistic hypotheses about the rainfall process and the rainfall-runoff transformation. Depending on changes in the annual number of rainfall events, the catchment filtering role is particularly significant. Results also largely depend on the return period considered.
Does climate variability necessarily imply hydrological variability? This paper analyses the...
Citation
Share