Characterising hydrological response in urban watersheds based on
inter-amount time distributions
Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis1,2 and Marc Schleiss21Delft University of Technology, Watermanagement 2Princeton University, Hydrometeorology Group
Received: 29 Sep 2016 – Accepted for review: 02 Oct 2016 – Discussion started: 04 Oct 2016
Abstract. Urban watersheds are typically characterised by a more flashy nature of the hydrological response compared to natural watersheds. Predicting the degree of flashiness associated with urbanisation is not straightforward, as it is influenced by interactions between impervious cover, basin size, drainage connectivity and stormwater management infrastructure. In this study, we present an alternative approach of analysing hydrological response variability and basin flashiness, based on the distribution 5 of inter-amount times.We analyse inter-amount time distributions of streamflow time series for 17 (semi)urbanised basins in North Carolina, US, ranging from 13 km2 to 238 km2 in size. We show that in the inter-amount times analysis, sampling frequency is tuned to the local variability in the flow pattern, resulting in more balanced representation of high and low flow periods in the time series. This helps to stabilize the variance of the distribution across scales and leads to more robust scaling behaviour. We show that inter-amount times distributions can be used to detect regulation effects on flow patterns, 10 identify critical sampling resolutions and characterise flashiness of hydrological response. The possibility to use both the classical approach and the inter-amount time framework to identify minimum observable scales and analyse flow data opens up interesting areas for future investigation.
ten Veldhuis, M.-C. and Schleiss, M.: Characterising hydrological response in urban watersheds based on
inter-amount time distributions, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-509, in review, 2016.