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.
|Título traducido de la contribución||Multi-decadal variations in annual maximum peak flows in semi-arid and temperate regions of Chile|
|Número de páginas||12|
|Publicación||Hydrological Sciences Journal|
|Estado||Publicada - feb. 2014|
|Publicado de forma externa||Sí|