Streamflow frequency changes across western Europe and interactions with North Atlantic atmospheric circulation patterns

Lorenzo-Lacruz, J.; Morán-Tejeda, E.; Vicente-Serrano, S.M.; Hannaford, J. ORCID:; García, C.; Peña-Angulo, D.; Murphy, C.. 2022 Streamflow frequency changes across western Europe and interactions with North Atlantic atmospheric circulation patterns. Global and Planetary Change, 212, 103797. 19, pp.

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This study identifies significant periodicities in streamflow dynamics across western Europe using a hydrological database encompassing 1874 monthly series from catchments in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal, spanning the years 1962 to 2012. Significant and synchronous periodicities with the main atmospheric mechanisms over the North Atlantic sector are also identified using Cross Wavelet Transform and Wavelet Coherence analysis. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) were applied to the different Wavelet transforms analysis in order to summarize the results. These show the occurrence of a 7-years streamflow cycle in a large proportion of catchments within the study domain since the mid 1980's that was not present in earlier periods. The significance, intensity and persistence of the observed regional cycle follows a spatial gradient around the English Channel. We show how the transitive coupling of key atmospheric mechanisms is an influencing factor causing the general change observed. These results suggest the occurrence of a regional change in the periodicities of streamflow across the western European domain. Our results emphasize the non-stationary interaction between streamflow and atmospheric circulation during recent decades and the prominent role of the North Atlantic Oscillation in the newly stablished streamflow cycles.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Water Resources (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0921-8181
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: wavelets, climate modes, streamflow, periodicities, synchronicities, non-stationarity
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Date made live: 25 Apr 2022 14:32 +0 (UTC)

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