New Index for Runoff Variability Analysis in Rainfall Driven Rivers in Southeastern United States


Journal Article

© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers. The process of river runoff confluence is highly complex and combines both tendency and chaos. Research on the temporal and spatial tendencies of river runoff variability can yield significant information to understand river systems. This paper aims to identify rainfall-runoff variability tendencies using a novel variability metric: the Mei-Wang Fluctuation (MWF) index, which estimates the variability as a compound measurement of quantitative variation (Qv) and contour variation (Cv) and has been successfully applied to quantify the variability of power output. Six rainfall rivers located in North Carolina and Texas with few reservoirs are chosen as the study case. The results show several novel tendencies of the runoff variability, including the following: (1) when the temporal resolution length decreases from 1 day to 1 month, the runoff variability indices, Cv and MWF, conspicuously decrease, while Qv declines slightly; (2) from a spatial perspective, when the drainage area rises, these indices increase, and notably, Qv increases in a linear pattern (sharply in a narrow river basin, slowly in a broad river basin); and (3) these spatial tendencies are further demonstrated by replacing the outflow of a reservoir with its inflow. Additionally, the linear tendency exhibited between Qv and drainage area calls for further exploration that could contribute to hydrological analysis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, X; Virguez, E; Chen, L; Duan, K; Dong, Q; Ma, H; Mei, Y; Wang, H

Published Date

  • December 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 12

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1084-0699

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001826

Citation Source

  • Scopus