- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Recession analysis is a classical method in hydrology to assess watersheds' hydrological properties by means of the receding limb of a hydrograph, frequently expressed as the rate of change in discharge (−dQ/dt) against discharge (Q). This relationship is often assumed to take the form of a power law −dQ/dt=aQb, where a and b are recession parameters. Recent studies have highlighted major differences in the estimation of the recession parameters depending on the method, casting doubt on our ability to properly evaluate and compare hydrological properties across watersheds based on recession analysis of −dQ/dt vs. Q. This study shows that estimation based on collective recessions as an average watershed response is strongly affected by the distributions of event inter-arrival time, magnitudes, and antecedent conditions, implying that the resulting recession parameters do not represent watershed properties as much as they represent the climate. The main outcome from this work highlights that proper evaluation of watershed properties is only ensured by considering independent individual recession events. While average properties can be assessed by considering the average (or median) values of a and b, their variabilities provide critical insight into the sensitivity of a watershed to the initial conditions involved prior to each recharge event. Show more
Journal / seriesHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit03465 - Löw, Simon (emeritus) / Löw, Simon (emeritus)
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