Hydroclimatic Trends and Streamflow Response to Recent Climate Change: An Application of Discrete Wavelet Transform and Hydrological Modeling in the Passaic River Basin, New Jersey, USA

Felix Oteng Mensah, Clement Aga Alo, Duke Ophori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The exigency of the current climate crisis demands a more comprehensive approach to addressing location-specific climate impacts. In the Passaic River Basin (PRB), two bodies of research—hydroclimatic trend detection and hydrological modeling—have been conducted with the aim of revealing the basin’s hydroclimate patterns as well as the hydrologic response to recent climate change. In a rather novel application of the wavelet transform tool, we sidelined the frequently used Mann–Kendal (MK) trend test, to identify the hidden monotonic trends in the inherently noisy hydroclimatic data. By this approach, the use of MK trend test directly on the raw data, whose results are almost always ambiguous and statistically insignificant in respect of precipitation data, for instance, no longer poses a challenge to the reliability of trend results. Our results showed that, whereas trends in temperature and precipitation are increasing in the PRB, streamflow trends are decreasing. Based on results from the hydrological modeling, streamflow is more sensitive to actual evapotranspiration (ET) than it is to precipitation. In periods spanning decades with sufficient water availability, energy governs actual evapotranspiration rates, rendering streamflow more sensitive to increases in precipitation. Conversely, during meteorologically stressed decades, water availability dictates actual evapotranspiration, consequently amplifying streamflow sensitivity to fluctuations in actual evapotranspiration. We found that the choice of baseline condition constitutes an important source of uncertainty in the sensitivities of streamflow to precipitation and evapotranspiration changes and should routinely be considered in any climate impact assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalHydrology
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • climate change
  • discrete wavelet transform
  • hydroclimatic trends
  • hydrological modeling
  • Passaic River Basin
  • Rockaway catchment

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Hydroclimatic Trends and Streamflow Response to Recent Climate Change: An Application of Discrete Wavelet Transform and Hydrological Modeling in the Passaic River Basin, New Jersey, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this