Variations multidécennales des débits de pointe maximaux annuels dans les régions semi-arides et tempérées du Chili

Translated title of the contribution: Multi-decadal variations in annual maximum peak flows in semi-arid and temperate regions of Chile

Roberto Pizarro, Mauricio Vera, Rodrigo Valdés, Bridget Helwig, Claudio Olivares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In determining the possible influence of climate change, it is important to understand the temporal and spatial variability in streamflow response for diverse climate zones. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the presence of changes in annual maximum peak flow for two climate zones in Chile over the past few decades. A general analysis, a flood frequency analysis and a trend analysis were used to study such changes between 1975 and 2008 for a semi-arid (29°S-32°S) and a temperate (36°S-38°S) climatic zone. The historic annual maxima, minima and mean flows, as well as decadal mean peak flow, were compared over the period of record. The Gumbel distribution was selected to compare the 30-year flood values of two ±15-year intervals, which showed that streamflow decreased by an average of 19.5% in the semi-arid stations and increased by an average of 22.6% in the temperate stations. The Mann-Kendall test was used to investigate the temporal changes in streamflows, with negative trends being observed in 87% of the stations analysed in the semi-arid zone, and positive trends in 57% of those analysed in the temperate zone. These differences in streamflow response between climate zones could be related to recent documented increases in altitude of the zero-degree isotherm in the Andes Mountains of Chile, since most of the significant positive and negative changes were detected in first-order rivers located closer to this mountain range.

Translated title of the contributionMulti-decadal variations in annual maximum peak flows in semi-arid and temperate regions of Chile
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)300-311
Number of pages12
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Mann-Kendall test
  • climate change influence
  • flood frequency analysis
  • peak flows
  • probability distribution functions
  • semi-arid climate
  • temperate climate
  • zero-degree isotherm


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