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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-491
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-491
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Oct 2018

Research article | 24 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Contribution of low-frequency climatic/oceanic oscillations to streamflow variability in small, coastal rivers of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia)

Juan Camilo Restrepo1, Aldemar Higgins1, Jaime Escobar2,3, Silvio Ospino1, and Natalia Hoyos4 Juan Camilo Restrepo et al.
  • 1Grupo de Investigación en Geociencias GEO4, Departamento de Física y Geociencias, Universidad del Norte, km 5 vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla – Colombia
  • 2Departamento de Ingeniería Civil y Ambiental, Universidad del Norte, km 5 vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla – Colombia
  • 3Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Box 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama
  • 4Departamento de Historia y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad del Norte, km 5 vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla – Colombia

Abstract. This study evaluated the influence of low-frequency oscillations that are linked to large-scale oceanographic/atmospheric processes, on streamflow variability in small tropical coastal mountain rivers of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. We used data from six rivers that had >32 years of complete, continuous monthly streamflow records. This investigation employed spectral analyses to (1) explore temporal characteristics of streamflow variability, (2) estimate the net contribution to the energy spectrum of low-frequency oscillations to streamflow anomalies, and (3) analyze the linkages between streamflow anomalies and large-scale, low-frequency oceanographic/atmospheric processes. Wavelet analyses indicate that the 8–12-yr component exhibited a quasi-stationary state, with a peak of maximum power between 1985 and 2005. These oscillations were nearly in phase in all rivers. Maximum power peaks occurred for the Palomino and Rancheria Rivers in 1985 and 1995, respectively. The wavelet spectrum highlights a change in river variability patterns between 1995 and 2015, characterized by a shift towards the low-frequency oscillations domain (8–12 yr). The net contribution of these oscillations to the energy spectrum was as high as 51%, a value much larger than previously thought for rivers in northwestern South America. The simultaneous occurrence of hydrologic oscillations, as well as the increase in the amplitude of the 8–12-yr band, defined periods of extremely anomalous wet seasons during 1989–1990, 1998–2002 and 2010–2011, reflecting the role of low-frequency oscillations in modulating streamflow variability in these rivers. Cross Wavelet Transform and Wavelet Coherence revealed high common powers and significant coherences in low-frequency bands (>96 months) between streamflow anomalies and Atlantic Meridional Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Tropical North Atlantic Index (TNA). These results show the role of large-scale, low-frequency oceanographic/climate processes in modulating long-term hydrological variability of these rivers.

Juan Camilo Restrepo et al.
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Juan Camilo Restrepo et al.
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This study evaluated the influence of low-frequency oscillations that are linked to large-scale oceanographic/atmospheric processes, on streamflow variability in small mountain rivers of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Aiming to explore streamflow variability, estimate the net contribution to the energy of low-frequency oscillations to streamflow anomalies, and analyze the linkages between streamflow anomalies and large-scale, low-frequency oceanographic/atmospheric processes.
This study evaluated the influence of low-frequency oscillations that are linked to large-scale...
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