Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
Project Work by Kevin Mersch
Email: merschk@ethz.ch
05.12.2011
Supervisor: Dr. P. Molnar
Beiblatt zu jeder an der ETH Zürich verfassten schriftlichen Arbeit
Ich erkläre mit meiner Unterschrift, das Merkblatt Plagiat (vgl. http://www.ethz.ch/students/semester/plagiarism_s_de.pdf) zur Kenntnis genommen, die vorliegende Arbeit selbständig verfasst und die im betroffenen Fachgebiet üblichen Zitiervorschriften eingehalten zu haben.
Supervisor 

Studierender 

Ort, Datum 
Unterschrift 
26.04.10 / NB 
3
Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
Abstract
Mean daily streamﬂow records from 39 watersheds in Switzerland with a mostly undisturbed runoﬀ regime are analysed for trends with the MannKendall non parametric test in three study periods (19701990, 19802000, 19902010). The statistical signiﬁcance of trends is tested for each station on a seasonal basis and for diﬀerent streamﬂow quantiles at a 10% signiﬁcance level. Identiﬁed trends in streamﬂow are examined and correlated with watershed attributes. Complex changes in the streamﬂow regime in Switzerland especially in the more recent periods have been identiﬁed, especially in autumn and winter. Particularly the most recent period (19902010) experiences a considerable shift from high towards low ﬂows for every quantile in autumn and winter. The increasing trend of spring ﬂows is experiencing a decaying development over the three analysed periods. Summer ﬂows exhibit a decreasing trend, especially in magnitude. Behaviour in the summer period is diﬀerent, indicating both upward and downward trends. Substantial diﬀerences in trends depending on mean basin altitude couldn’t be identiﬁed for any season but summer, where stations located between 1000m and 2000m experience increasing trends which stand in opposition to stations from higher or lower elevations. Winter median ﬂow of watersheds without glacier remain unchanged, while basins with glaciers face downward trends. Correlation between mean watershed elevation and trends is strongly depen dent on season and quantile. Correlation analyses reveal moderate relationships between streamﬂow trends and mean basin elevation and glacier coverage. Au tumn and summer show negative correlation for low ﬂows, resp. moderate ﬂows. In winter high ﬂows show a good correlation with magnitude of trend. Trends are present in every period for high and low ﬂows. Magnitude de pends on period and season of interest. Results suggest that, regardless of the type of environment of watersheds, all basins are subject to streamﬂow change, speciﬁcally in the last 20 years.
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Contents
1. Introduction 
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2. Data 
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3. Methods 
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3.1. MannKendall nonparametric trend test 
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3.2. TheilSen slope estimate 
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3.3. Spearman rank correlation . 
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4. Results 
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4.1. Trends 
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4.2. Diﬀerences in altitude 
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4.3. Correlation with basin attributes 
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4.4. Open Quetions 
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5. Conclusions 
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6. Acknowledgements 
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Literature 
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A. Appendix A 
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A.1. Stations . 
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A.1.1. Basin Attributes 
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A.2. Results . A.2.1. . Slope estimate results . . . . . . . . . . 
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A.2.2. 
MannKendall relative frequency results 
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A.2.3. 
Altitude groups results . 
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A.2.4. 
Glacier cover results 
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A.2.5. 
Spearman rank correlation results 
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A.3. Additional Figures 
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B. Appendix B 
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B.1. Main Matlab Program for MannKendall TheilSen 
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B.2. Main Matlab Program for Representative Discharge 
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List of Figures 

1. 
Representative Discharge [mm/season] for all season of q50 streamﬂow av 

eraged over all stations. 
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2. Representative discharge [mm/year] for all season of q50 streamﬂow averaged
over all stations and grouped by station altitude. 
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3. Relative frequencies of high( +) and low() ﬂows over all stations for all 

quantiles and for every period. 
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4. Slope estimate for all quantiles and for every period. 
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5. Slope estimate [mm/season] and standard deviation for 50 and 90percent 

quantiles grouped according to altitude for the period 19902010. 
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6. Relative frequencies for 50 and 90percent quantiles grouped according to 

altitude for the period 19902010. 
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7. Relative frequencies for 50 and 90percent quantiles grouped according to 

glacier cover for the period 19902010. 
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8. Spearman rank correlation coeﬃcients for mean basin altitude and estimated 

slope (a) and MK Z statistic (b) 
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9. Representative Discharge [mm/season] for all season of q90 streamﬂow av 

eraged over all stations. 
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46 
10. Representative discharge [mm/year] for all season of q90 streamﬂow averaged 

over all stations and grouped by station altitude. 
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11. Estimated slopes [mm/season] and standard deviation for 50 and 90percent 

quantiles grouped according to glacier cover for the period 19902010. 
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12. Spearman rank correlation coeﬃcients of relative glacier cover and estimated 

slope (a) and MK Z statistic (b) 
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49 
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
1. Introduction
Trend detection in records of hydroclimatic variables (e.g. air temperature, precipitation, streamﬂow) contributes signiﬁcantly to the ongoing debate on climate change. So far the focus of research was on temperature and precipitation rather than on streamﬂow, giving reason to investigate the latter variable more closely. Records show general increase of temperature (and precipitation) [(M. Beniston u. Marinucci, 1994)], which have been related to climate change eﬀects. The question arises, if these trends can also (already) be detected in streamﬂow data and again, if these trends can be related to climate change. It is still not clear if and how changes in air temperature and precipitation manifests itself in streamﬂow. Before this can be investigated, it is ﬁrst necessary to analyse how streamﬂow regimes have changed. From the water resources management perspective persisting trends in streamﬂow are great importance, particularly trends of extreme events. Below in ﬁgure 1 a representative chart on runoﬀ over the last forty years is shown. A trend is not obviously detectable with the bear eye; so statistical tools need to be considered to get a more predicative picture. What can be noticed clearly is the high variation in runoﬀ magnitude from one season to the other.
Figure 1: Representative Discharge [mm/season] for all season of q50 streamﬂow averaged over all stations.
The big diﬀerence between temperature, precipitation and streamﬂow is that streamﬂow is an integrated variable over a watershed. This means that the inﬂuence of the ﬁrst two hydroclimatic variables, which are both point measurements, should to a certain degree be
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
noticeable in the integrated value, namely streamﬂow. Further disadvantage of the ﬁrst two variables is the high spatial and temporal variability, which can hamper detection of regional trends. Switzerland covers an area of 41,284 km ^{2} of which about two thirds is forest and agri cultural land. Altitude ranges from 193 m (Lago Maggiore) to 4,634 m (Monte Rosa) and mean annual precipitation reaches about 1480 mm while mean annual runoﬀ is about 960
mm (Hydrological Atlas of Switzerland, 1961–1980). In terms of water resources, 63% of
the surface water supplies are stored in natural lakes, 35% in glaciers and the remaining 2% in artiﬁcial lakes. Switzerland lies in four large European watersheds: the Rhine River,
draining into the North Sea, the Rhone and Po Rivers, draining into the Mediterranean
Sea, and the Inn which eventually drains into the Black Sea.
The data and methods are described in Section 2 and 3. Section 4 lists the main results according to the goals of this project work: ﬁrst observed streamﬂow trends are investi gated, then a correlation analysis between watershed attributes and observed streamﬂow trends is conducted. Last some open questions are identiﬁed. Finally, the main conclusions are summarized in Section 5.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
2. Data
Data sources
The analysis of streamﬂow trends is conducted with data from 39 stations spread around the whole of Switzerland. All these stations provide records of mean daily streamﬂow rang ing from 1970 to 2010. More stations were available depending on the period of analysis (52 in total). However, to be consistent in calculations, only stations that provided records over the whole of the abovementioned period were considered. As former trend analysis of streamﬂow show, trend signiﬁcance is strongly dependent on ﬂow magnitude and thus season [Pavel Ya. Groisman u. Karl (2001), (D. P. Lettenmaier, 1991)]. Considering the facts on Switzerland mentioned in the previous section, snow and ice melt are important contributors to runoﬀ seasonality. Streamﬂow trend analysis on an annual basis might conceal important information through averaging compared to a seasonal basis [M. Benis ton u. Marinucci (1994), M.V. Birsan (2005)]. Hence, seasonality was taken into account by deﬁning four climatological seasons and analysing them separately (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter):
Table 1: Deﬁnition of season division
Season 
Months 
nr of Days 
Spring 
March  May 
92 
Summer 
June  August 
92 
Autumn 
September  November 
91 
Winter 
December  January 
90 
After this, daily streamﬂows were not analysed directly, but data records were split into 3 periods of each 20 years with 10 overlapping years. This length of period seems to be adequate to capture trends without getting too much variability, which could complicate interpretation. In this project work shifts in the distribution of daily data are of interest, so the test is applied to quantiles determined at the seasonal timescale. The deciles of streamﬂows as well as minimum and maximum runoﬀ were computed to minimise data load without losing to much representatitivity. The seasonal q−quantile x _{q} (i) of the mean daily ﬂow X is obtained for every season (year) i as the value for which P r(X < x) = q. For instance, the q20value of a station is the runoﬀ for which 20% of all mean daily ﬂows for the given season are below this value. To sum up, in order to identify shifts in the distribution of mean daily streamﬂow, a range of 11 quantiles on seasonal bases (q _{M}_{I}_{N} ,
q _{M}_{A}_{X} , and q10, q20
sis methods are standard: Mean daily runoﬀ is analysed for trends with the MannKendall
nonparametric trend test and the Theil–Sen slope estimator (both presented in the next section).
q90)
were studied for three diﬀerent observation periods. The analy
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
Streamﬂow data used in this work were high resolution records of mean daily discharge. The three main criteria for station selection [M.V. Birsan (2005)] were:
• no substantial inﬂuence by water withdrawals for hydropower or other wateruse purposes
• spatial independence between station records
• at least 30 years of continuous and complete observations
Spatial independence for stations located along the same river was ensured by always choosing the upstream station. This oﬀers a good compromise between the assumed in dependence of station records and a relatively high number of stations [(M.V. Birsan,
2005)].
Alititude groups
In Switzerland 52% of its area lies above 1000 m.a.s.l. and 23% above 2000 m. From a hydrological perspective, Switzerland can be divided into three distinct runoﬀ regimes types: Alpine, MidlandJura, and Southern Alpine (Aschwanden (1985)). So, to get a more detailed picture, the stations were grouped according to the mean altitude of the corresponding basin, so that they could be compared among each other. Furthermore, the groups were also compared to trends observed by computing all available stations. In appendix A.1.1 basin attributes and number of stations for each group are listed. For the period from 19902010 diﬀerences according to station altitude were analysed in terms of slope estimate and relative frequency. To lower data load only two runoﬀ quantiles were looked at, namely q50 and q90.
Glacier cover
In addition to grouping stations by elevation, they are also divide into a group which present glacier cover and a group which doesn’t. Surely both attributes are quite similar and correlated to certain extent. This classiﬁcation will likely reveal interesting facts, as basins that have an Alpine inﬂuence reach a maximum seasonal runoﬀ in spring and summer. This analysis shall also only consider the 2 quantiles used in the altitude groups from year 1990 to 2010. Figure 2 shows the same runoﬀ data as ﬁgure 1, but with gauging stations grouped according to the mean elevation of the corresponding watershed. It highlights that the diﬀences in ﬂow magnitude related to seasonality is strongly dependent on altitude. The runoﬀ from basins above 2000m ﬂuctuates considerably compared to the other those of lower stations.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
Figure 2: Representative discharge [mm/year] for all season of q50 streamﬂow averaged over all stations and grouped by station altitude.
.
For altitude, three groups were formed (01000m, 10002000m and >2000m), and for glacier cover only two (not glacier covered and partly glacier covered). Neither precipitation nor temperature data were considered, as this work should focus only on the output of the rainfall runoﬀ system. Another reason is the relative abundance of assessments on these particular values compared to runoﬀ data. (Representative discharge of the q90 streamﬂow can be found in appendix A.3).
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
3. Methods
Two diﬀerent statistical tools were used to analyse if streamﬂow data presented any trends. First, nonparametric slope estimation was used to get an idea of the magnitude of trends throughout the time series. Also, the MannKendall nonparametric trend test was em ployed to give the estimated slopes a statistical signiﬁcance. Simple but robust and distributionfree tools were preferred. As serial correlation was mostly avoided by dividing data according to seasons, no prewhitening was applied to data to discriminate trends from stochastic ﬂuctuations and the inﬂuence of serial correlation.
3.1. MannKendall nonparametric trend test
Trend analysis in this project work was conducted with the nonparametric MannKendall (MK) test. This test has been widely used in hydrological studies. It is distributionfree, robust against outliers, and has a higher power than many other commonly used tests [Hess (2001)]. The test, suitable for nonnormally distributed data with nonlinear trends, should be applied to uncorrelated data [Helsel u. Hirsch (2002)]. Computation of the MK
trend test statistic Z and the identiﬁcation of statistically signiﬁcant trends are explained
, 0.9; and also
to the seasonal minimum x _{m}_{i}_{n} (i) and maximum x _{m}_{a}_{x} (i), where i = 1,
tically signiﬁcant trends are generally reported at the 10% signiﬁcance level (α _{Z}_{/}_{2} = 0.1, twotailed test). In this study the same signiﬁcance level will be used to minimize type
II errors. The null and the alternative hypothesis of the MK test for trend in the random
, n years. Statis
hereafter.
The MK test is applied to time series of x _{q} (i) with q = 0.1, 0.2,
variable x are:
H _{0} : Pr(x _{j} > x _{i} ) = 0.5,
H _{A} : Pr(x _{j} > x _{i} )
= 0.5,
j > i, (two–sided test)
The MannKendall statistic S is calculated as
S =
n−1
n
k=1 j=k+1
sgn(x _{j} − x _{k} )
(1)
where x _{j} and x _{k} are the data values in years j and k, respectively, with j > k. sgn() is the sign function:
sgn(x) =
1,
0,
−1,
if
if
if
x _{j} − x _{k} x _{j} − x _{k} x _{j} − x _{k}
> 0
= 0
< 0
(2)
Under the null hypothesis the distribution of S can be approximated well by a normal
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
2
distribution (large sample sizes n), with mean µ _{S} and variance σ _{S} given by:
µ _{S} = 0,
σ _{S} = n(n − 1)(2n + 5) −
2
m
i=1
t _{i} (i)(i − 1)(2i + 5) /18
(3)
This equation yields the variance of S with a correction for ties in data, with t _{i} denoting the number of ties of extent i. The standard normal variate is used for hypothesis testing, called the MK trend test statistic Z.
Z =
S−1
,
0,
,
σ
S
S+1
σ
S
if
if
if
S < 0
= 0
S
S < 0.
(4)
For a twotailed test, the null hypothesis is rejected at signiﬁcance level α (Type I error) if Z > Z _{α}_{/}_{2} , where Z _{α}_{/}_{2} is the value of the standard normal distribution with an exceedance probability α/2. Relative frequencies presented in the results section are obtained simply by dividing the number of Z values for which Z  > Z _{α}_{/}_{2} applies by the total number of stations. Low and high ﬂows are reported separately. So, the relative frequency for a given ﬂow quantile indicates the percentage of stations that prsent a statistical signiﬁcant trend of of high or low ﬂows.
3.2. TheilSen slope estimate
The TheilSen slope estimator is a method for robust linear regression that chooses the median slope among all lines through pairs of twodimensional sample points. It is a nonparametric method suitable for a nearly linear trend [Helsel u. Hirsch (2002)], and it is more robust than the leastsquares estimator because it is much less sensitive to outliers, meaning that it can tolerate arbitrary corruption of up to 29.3% of the input datapoints without degradation of its accuracy. It can be signiﬁcantly more accurate than simple linear regression and competes well against simple least squares even for normally distributed data [Wikipedia] . The slope is computed between all pairs i of the variable x:
(j = 2,
,
n; k = 1,
_{β} i _{=} x _{j} − x _{k} j − k
, n − 1)
,
with
j > k
(5)
where i = 1
N
For n values in the time series x this will result in N = n(n − 1)/2
N .
. values of β. The slope estimate b is the median of b _{i} , i = 1
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
3.3. Spearman rank correlation
The nonparametric rankbased Spearman correlation coeﬃcient was used to report the
results of correlation analyses. Spearman’s ρ is a nonparametric rankbased correlation coeﬃcient used to estimate the monotone association between two random variables. If
Y 
tends to increase when X increases, the Spearman correlation coeﬃcient is positive. If 
Y 
tends to decrease when X increases, the Spearman correlation coeﬃcient is negative. 
When X and Y are perfectly monotonically related, the Spearman correlation coeﬃcient becomes 1. It is computed from the diﬀerence d between the ranks of independently sorted variables x and y [Kottegoda (2008)] :
ρ = 1 − ^{6} n
i=1 ^{d} ^{2}
n(n ^{2} − _{1}_{)}
(6)
Under the null hypothesis of no correlation between x and y, the distribution of ρ can be approximated by a normal distribution with mean µ _{ρ} and variance σ _{ρ} given by:
2
µ _{ρ} = 0,
2
σ _{ρ} = 1/(n − 1)
(7)
The random variables x and y are considered correlated at the signiﬁcance level α if
ρ > Z _{α}_{/}_{2} / ^{√} n − 1 for a twotailed test. α = 0.1 was chosen for the analysis.
The causal aspects of identiﬁed trends in streamﬂow were investigated by correlation
mean altitude of the basin and percentage of glacier
analyses with 2 basin attributes:
cover.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
4. Results
The main results are reported in three sections. First, trends in streamﬂow are analysed for diﬀerent seasons and quantiles. Then, diﬀerences between groups with diﬀerent station altitudes and glacier cover are investigated. Thereafter, relationships between trends and basin attributes are explored. Ultimately, some open questions are identiﬁed and discussed brieﬂy.
4.1. Trends
As pointed out earlier, choice of study period length is important because it has an impact on trend identiﬁcation. If a large scale periodic behaviour is present in the records, the length of analysis period should be chosen in a way that it spans one or more cycles of this process. A 20 year period is assumed to contain low and high ﬂow periods and therefore identitiﬁed trends should not result from low–frequency large–scale behaviour in the recorded data. Also, as can be seen in the graphs below, changes in runoﬀ have a strong seasonal dependence and should therefore be considered separately.
MannKendall
Relative frequencies of high and low ﬂows were investigated. In ﬁgure 3 up and down trends are shown for every season and period.
Spring: In the ﬁrst period high ﬂows are relatively frequent. Up to 40% of the stations manifest high ﬂows for all quantiles. However, in the following two periods the frequencies of high ﬂows exhibit a subsiding development, especially for the lower quantiles. On the other hand, frequencies of low ﬂows tend to increase over the three periods. Still, in the most recent period quantiles above the median ﬂow (q50) don’t display statistically signiﬁcant low ﬂows.
Summer: In this season there is little change over all periods, except for the frequencies of low ﬂows from 19802000. It seems that the summer of this period had particularly frequent low ﬂows. Taken aside this fact, there is no strong signiﬁcant up or downward trend indicated by the Mann–Kendall test.
Autumn: Autumn shows a similar picture as summer, with the diﬀerence that in this season an increase of frequent low ﬂows occurs in the last period. Interestingly, the fre quencies of low ﬂows for the middle period don’t follow those of the previous season. Even high ﬂows frequencies are more numerous after a relative ”dry” summer.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
(a) Spring
(c) Autumn
(b) Summer
(d) Winter
Figure 3: Relative frequencies of high( +) and low() ﬂows over all stations for all quantiles and for every period.
Winter: The ﬁrst two periods reveal a rising number of high ﬂows in winter. And yet, the last period presents the opposite situation. Frequencies of low ﬂows have increased considerably whereas high ﬂows have practically vanished. This can be an indication of an important shift of streamﬂow regime for the winter season.
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TheilSen slope estimate
Results for the TheilSen slope estimate for each season are shown below in ﬁgure 4.
(a) Spring
(c) Autumn
(b) Summer
(d) Winter
Figure 4: Slope estimate for all quantiles and for every period.
Spring: In the ﬁrst period (19701990) spring ﬂows show an increasing trend for all stream ﬂow quantiles. The two following periods also demonstrate an increasing trend, but of lower magnitude. The other 2 periods show a reduced increase and even a decrease for the lower quantiles.
Summer: Summer ﬂows clearly exhibit decreasing trends in all periods and for all quan tiles, except for the maximum ﬂow in the last period. In general the maximum ﬂow in summer is due to heavy rainstorm events, so for the overall picture one can argue that summer ﬂows are actively decreasing.
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Autumn ﬂows present relatively small changes in the ﬁrst two periods. Again,
there is a signiﬁcant decrease in the most recent period. Put another way, this most likely is an indication of a change in the runoﬀ regime.
Autumn:
Winter: Winter season pictures a faint upward trend in the ﬁrst two periods for all quan tiles but maximum ﬂow. Similarly to autumn, the trend is inverted in the last period and for all quantiles (including maximum ﬂow). Indeed, even the maximum ﬂows in winter have substantially fallen from an extreme upward trend to a high decreasing trend. Accordingly, this again gives reason to presume a change in the winter streamﬂow regime.
Frequencies and magnitude
Looking at both frequency and magnitude together, the following can be said:
• Spring ﬂows show an increasing trend in both the Mann–Kendall test and the slope estimate. Moreover both also signal a subsiding development of this trend.
• The MK test suggests that in summer, occurrence of high and low ﬂows are more or less balanced in every period (except for low ﬂows in the middle period), but the slope estimate clearly reveals a decreasing trend.
• In summer period from 19902010, the maximum ﬂow has a substantial increase but with a relative low frequency. Also, the frequencies of low ﬂows are higher than those of high ﬂows (except for q _{M}_{I}_{N} , q10, q20). In each period low ﬂows outnumber high ones in summer, yielding a decreasing trend in runoﬀ.
• A clear change is noticeable for the most recent period in both MK test and Theil Sen estimate. In other words, frequencies of low ﬂows have risen and slope estimates sketch out a decrease in ﬂow magnitude over all quantiles.
• Trends of streamﬂow in winter trace a similar, maybe even more pronounced, picture as in autumn. In this season, from 19902010, not only frequencies of low ﬂows have risen, but frequencies of high ﬂows have fall at the same time. Also the slope estimate has switched from a weak increasing to a decreasing trend.
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4.2. Diﬀerences in altitude
For the period from 19902010, diﬀerences according to station altitude were analysed in terms of slope (ﬁg. 5) and relative frequency (ﬁg. 6). To lower data load only two runoﬀ quantiles were looked at, namely q50 and q90.
Figure 5: Slope estimate [mm/season] and standard deviation for 50 and 90percent quan tiles grouped according to altitude for the period 19902010.
In spring, all 3 groups show an increasing slope. The summer season is most heteroge neous with decreasing trends for low and high altitude stations, but an increasing slope for stations located between 1000m and 2000m. Autumn and winter both signal a decreasing trend for both quantiles. These graphs also show that if a trend is visible (increases or decreases), it tends to be a more pronounced for the higher quantile q90 (except for sum mer). While this is true, there is no clearly discernible trend related to the mean elevation of the watershed when looking at both quantiles.
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Comparing the slope trends with the relative frequencies of high and low ﬂows, reveals that the trends (slopes) found are endorsed by the MannKendall test. Where spring displays a positive trend for every altitude, high ﬂows are common whereas low ﬂows are lacking. The previously identiﬁed decreasing slope in autumn is matched by frequent low ﬂows. Particularly in winter for the 90 percent quantile, where slopes are slightly falling, low ﬂows are quite frequent. This indicates that large runoﬀ (q90) in winter is decreasing in magnitude and occur more seldom. To sum up, the mean altitude of a watershed does not play a signiﬁcant role for streamﬂow regime alteration. Stations from all three altitude groups exhibit similar behaviour when compared to each other.
Figure 6: Relative frequencies for 50 and 90percent quantiles grouped according to alti tude for the period 19902010.
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Glacier presence
To further investigate any relation between basin attributes and change in runoﬀ regime, station records were divided into 2 groups depending on whether they presented glacier cover or not. For these two groups, only the frequencies of high and low ﬂows were consid ered. The results are shown in ﬁgure 7 .
Figure 7: Relative frequencies for 50 and 90percent quantiles grouped according to glacier cover for the period 19902010.
Relative frequencies from both groups coincide most often. In summer, stations with no glacier don’t display any trend. In winter stations with glacier cover indicate a decreasing trend for both quantiles, whereas the other group only exhibits a downward trend for q90. This means that basins with glaciers are facing overall frequent low ﬂows, while basins without only experience this trend for large runoﬀ. The median ﬂow of the latter stations is undisturbed. As seen earlier with elevation, no obvious relation of trend with glacier presence is detectable.
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4.3. Correlation with basin attributes
In the graphs below (ﬁgure8) it is clear that correlation exists, but depends on season and quantile. However for smaller quantiles in winter there mostly is no statistically signiﬁcant correlation between mean basin altitude and estimated slope. From the methods section, one can calculate that for a 10% signiﬁcance level and 39 stations, basin attributes and trend are considered correlated if ρ > 0.27.
(a)
(b)
Figure 8: Spearman rank correlation coeﬃcients for mean basin altitude and estimated slope (a) and MK Z statistic (b)
Correlation with estimated slope Positive correlation can be seen for high quantiles in Winter. Summer shows a negative correlation for moderate ﬂows. Lower quantiles correlate negatively for autumn. Spring has no proper tendency.
Correlation with MannKendall Z statistic No really signiﬁcant correlation can be seen for all quantiles in Winter. The other three seasons are similar to the correlation with esti mated slopes. In summer altitude correlates for moderate ﬂows. Lower quantiles correlate well for autumn. Again, spring has no clear tendency, displaying positive and negative correlations both for high and low ﬂows.
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The Spearman rank–based correlation was also computed for glacier cover.Those corre lation charts between glacier cover and streamﬂow trends can be found in appendix A.3. Results are comparable to those of mean basin altitude.
4.4. Open Quetions
As stated earlier, there seems to be a change in streamﬂow regime in at least 2 out of 4 seasons (autumn and winter), especially for when comparing the most recent period with the two previous ones. Now that changes have been identiﬁed, the question arises what these changes are due to and if in future these shifts will also be detectable in spring and summer. Several things have to be investigated:
• The assumption that a 20 year period suﬃciently captures any largescale periodicity should be investigated. As pointed out by (P Pekarova, 2006) dry cycles of 13.5 and 2829 years have been identiﬁed (see also P Pekarova (2003)).
• Another issue is to assert that these changes are not due to anthropogenic factors nor emphasised by these. It is arguably nearly impossible to exclude anthropogenic inﬂuences altogether. If land use (and therfore land cover) changes in some of the analysed basins this can have inﬂuenced the streamﬂow regime. Also changes in the ﬂuvial systems should be taken into account. The time scale, on which these eﬀects occur from external factors, could give an indication on whether they inﬂuence trends or not.
we expect that most of the (natural) watershed changes occur on much longer timescales than those studied here, we recognise that they do contribute to hydrological vari ability
• Precipitation and air temperature data (focussing on days with minimum daily tem perature above melting point) might explain some of the observed trends. Do changes in runoﬀ properly reﬂect the input to a rainfallrunoﬀ system, namely precipitation.
• Changes in net glacier balance should be analysed together with identiﬁed trends to assess whether there is a relationship between both that can be due to climate change. For instance, glacier retreat will have an impact on land cover which again will impact runoﬀ.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
5. Conclusions
This project work presents a statistical analysis of trends in mean daily streamﬂow records from 39 watersheds in Switzerland with a mostly undisturbed runoﬀ regime for three study periods (19701990, 19802000 and 19902010). Estimate of trend magnitude and statistically signiﬁcant trends were computed for each station on a seasonal basis and for diﬀerent streamﬂow quantiles. Identiﬁed trends in streamﬂow were correlated with watershed attributes. The main conclusions are as follows:
• Trends are present in every period as well for high and low ﬂows. Magnitude depends on period and season of interest.
• Particularly the last period (19902010) experiences a signiﬁcant increase of lower ﬂows in Winter for every quantile. This suggests that winters are becoming increas ingly dryer over the last 20 years.
• In the winter season there is a considerable shift of frequent high ﬂows to frequent low ﬂows in the last period of analysis (19902010).
• The increasing trend of Spring ﬂows is experiencing a decaying development over the three analysed periods.
• Summer ﬂows exhibit a decreasing trend, particularly in magnitude.
• Autumn also reveals a shift in the last period. A decreasing trend in magnitude matches an increase of statistical signiﬁcant low ﬂows from 19902010.
• Winter ﬂows also show a substantial shift in the last period similar to the autumn season. In Addition to a rising number of low ﬂows, the season presents only very few high ﬂows.
• There was no discernible dependence of trends related to the mean elevation of the analysed watersheds.
• Basins lacking presence of glacier don’t show any trend. Particularly in winter median ﬂow of watersheds without glacier remains unchanged, while basins with glaciers face downward trends for both q50 and q90. This trend should be followed closely if it persists, because it can give an indication on what is happening to precipitation in higher altitudes.
• Correlation between mean watershed elevation and trends is strongly dependent on season and quantile. No signiﬁcant correlation was found in spring. Autumn and summer show negative correlation for low ﬂows, resp. moderate ﬂows. In winter high ﬂows show a good correlation with magnitude of trend (estimated slope).
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
• The altitude groups followed the same trend patterns as the ones found when com puting trends from all the available stations.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
6. Acknowledgements
Thanks for the data I received from the Federal Oﬃce for the Environment (FOEN or BAFU in german). Thanks to my supervisor Dr. Peter Molnar, who patiently guided me through this project work. Special Thanks to the 2 anonymous reviewers, who helped to improve this report.
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
References
[Aschwanden 1985] Aschwanden, Weingartner R. H.:
Pub. Gew¨asserkunde, 1985
Runoﬀ Regimes in Switzerland.
[D. P. Lettenmaier 1991] D. P. Lettenmaier, Eric F. W. JAMES R. WALLIS W. JAMES R. WALLIS: A Daily Hydroclimatological Data Set for the Continental United States. In: WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH (1991)
[Helsel u. Hirsch 2002] Helsel, D.R. ; Hirsch, R.M.:
Resources. U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, 2002
Statistical Methods in Water
[Hess 2001] Hess, Iyer H. Malm W. A.: Linear trend analysis: a comparison of methods. In: Atmospheric Environment (2001), 10
[Kottegoda 2008] Kottegoda, Rosso R. N.T.: Statistics, Probability, and Reliability for Civil and Environmental Engineers. Bd. 2nd edition. WileyBlackwell, 2008
[M. Beniston u. Marinucci 1994] M. Beniston, F. G. M. Rebetez R. M. Rebetez ; Mar inucci, M. R.: An Analysis of Regional Climate Change in Switzerland. In: Theoretical and Applied Climatology (1994)
[M.V. Birsan 2005] M.V. Birsan, P. Burlando M. P. P. Molnar M. P. Molnar: Streamﬂow trends in Switzerland. In: Journal of Hydrology (2005)
[P 
Pekarova 2003] P Pekarova, J. P. P. Miklanek M. P. Miklanek: Spatial and temporal runoﬀ oscillation analysis of the main rivers of the world during the 19th–20th centuries. In: Journal of Hydrology (2003) 
[P 
Pekarova 2006] P Pekarova, J. P. P. Miklanek M. P. Miklanek: Longterm trends and runoﬀ ﬂuctuations of European rivers. In: Climate Variability and Change—Hydrological Impacts (2006) 
[Pavel Ya. Groisman u. Karl 2001] Pavel Ya. Groisman, Richard W. K. ; Karl, Thomas R.: Heavy Precipitation and High Streamﬂow in the Contiguous United States:
Trends in the Twentieth Century. In: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
(2001)
[Wikipedia ] Wikipedia: Wikipedia. http://de.wikipedia.org, Abruf: 05. Dec 2011
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Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
A. Appendix A
A.1. Stations
A.1.1. Basin Attributes
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_{%}_{_}_{R}_{O}_{C}_{K} _{%}_{G}_{L}_{A}_{C}_{I}_{E}_{R} _{P}_{R}_{E}_{C}_{_}_{A}_{N}_{N}
1215
1338
1067
1277
1816
1224
1284
1251
1011
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.9
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.1
0
0
_{S}_{O}_{I}_{L}
93
97
56
76
86
90
34
82
71
_{R}_{I}_{V}_{_}_{D}_{E}_{N}_{S} _{M}_{E}_{A}_{N}_{_}_{C}_{N}
66.5
66.5
69.5
68.8
71.9
70.4
70.1
72.1
68
!"#$%&%'(%)
2095
3729
1693
1943
1223
1647
1406
2522
918
_{S}_{L}_{O}_{P}_{E}
23.8
13.6
12.2
11.3
11.6
15.1
7.3
2.6
10
_{K}_{}_{G}_{r}_{a}_{v}_{e}_{l}_{i}_{u}_{s} _{A}_{L}_{T}_{I}_{T}_{U}_{D}_{E}
585
988
648
649
473
924
842
722
761
1.905
2.258
1.979
2.537
2.333
1.886
2.686
2.772
1.7
_{A}_{R}_{E}_{A}
48.5
73.9
78.9
59.9
183
124
342
392
261
NEW_ID
2159
2343
2126
2034
2122
2202
2312
2132
2321
833
915
650
479
528
549
883
863
843
ID
_{%}_{_}_{R}_{O}_{C}_{K} _{%}_{G}_{L}_{A}_{C}_{I}_{E}_{R} _{P}_{R}_{E}_{C}_{_}_{A}_{N}_{N}
1535
1488
1408
1337
1723
1807
1403
1396
1474
1194
2151
1.7
9.7
0.3
4.3
3.4
0
0
0
0
0
0
21.9
24.7
57.6
14.6
14.6
19.4
9.9
4.3
3.3
2.6
3.4
_{S}_{O}_{I}_{L}
28.8
65
19
39
29
33
16
24
50
32
71
_{R}_{I}_{V}_{_}_{D}_{E}_{N}_{S} _{M}_{E}_{A}_{N}_{_}_{C}_{N}
78.5
74.8
74.3
72.7
73.4
74.2
69.2
74.1
75.1
76
84
!"#$%*%'(%)
1058
2138
1847
1006
2574
2380
2854
2844
1950
1352
4121
_{S}_{L}_{O}_{P}_{E}
25.5
17.9
30.9
25.9
29.9
15.8
23.2
17.2
34.2
19
29
_{K}_{}_{G}_{r}_{a}_{v}_{e}_{l}_{i}_{u}_{s} _{A}_{L}_{T}_{I}_{T}_{U}_{D}_{E}
1853.5
1815
1069
1989
1618
1808
1797
1336
1020
1634
1000
1.865
2.079
1.549
1.593
1.807
2.576
1.896
1.916
1.484
1.991
2.19
_{A}_{R}_{E}_{A}
28.8
43.9
59.2
105
493
227
616
180
344
352
25
NEW_ID
2179
2187
2303
2426
2276
2356
2300
2150
2232
2481
2151
637
1127
822
1143
698
825
799
978
750
879
864
ID
_{%}_{_}_{R}_{O}_{C}_{K} _{%}_{G}_{L}_{A}_{C}_{I}_{E}_{R} _{P}_{R}_{E}_{C}_{_}_{A}_{N}_{N}
1455
1038
1098
1737
1367
1346
1636
1392
1152
1110
1311
865
845
948
927
737
816
990
994
16.5
45.7
29.3
19.7
22.7
32.6
32.6
16.6
32.1
21.1
5.5
0.8
2.7
2.6
7.2
1.2
0
0
0
37.5
26.5
30.8
15.9
26.8
31.8
33.3
23.7
34.7
20.3
34.7
36.6
26.6
33.2
47.2
23.1
37.1
38.1
57
_{S}_{O}_{I}_{L}
15
25
19
17
17
17
27
13
10
10
20
20
10
10
10
22
22
21
11
_{R}_{I}_{V}_{_}_{D}_{E}_{N}_{S} _{M}_{E}_{A}_{N}_{_}_{C}_{N}
69.5
79.5
77.8
78.9
74.8
78.8
72.9
73.8
76.7
70.6
81.4
64.4
76.4
69.2
73.2
74.2
82.1
67
70
!"#$%&%'(%&
2098
1069
1268
1553
1977
2367
1256
1524
1304
1290
1072
1732
1772
1222
1192
1511
828
708
713
_{S}_{L}_{O}_{P}_{E}
33.8
23.8
22.8
31.8
26.9
29.3
24.7
24.3
28.3
25.3
33.6
29.6
27.4
25.4
30.1
27.1
26.1
29
27
_{K}_{}_{G}_{r}_{a}_{v}_{e}_{l}_{i}_{u}_{s} _{A}_{L}_{T}_{I}_{T}_{U}_{D}_{E}
2335
2125
2655
2648
2548
2328
2277
2366
2196
2616
2710
2330
2710
2290
2152
2012
2221
2031
2371
1.835
2.185
1.949
1.799
1.753
1.773
1.676
1.906
1.896
1.626
1.744
1.754
1.624
1.804
1.644
1.742
1.961
1.861
1.691
_{A}_{R}_{E}_{A}
66.5
77.8
26.9
38.9
73.3
77.7
55.3
35.7
43.3
20.6
778
379
529
183
107
913
164
14.1
192
ID NEW_ID
2355
2299
2269
2219
2268
2319
2109
2087
2263
2327
2256
2346
2366
2304
2200
2342
2262
2141
2351
890
735
877
298
152
778
838
848
387
614
782
793
716
826
866
862
792
922
821
31
Streamﬂow Trends in Switzerland
A.2. Results
A.2.1. Slope estimate results
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1970;1990
read%stations available
spring 
summer 
autumn 
winter 
39 
44 

qmin 
0.85 
;1.88 
;0.45 
0.26 

q10 
1.28 
;1.90 
;0.40 
0.19 

q20 
1.46 
;1.37 
;0.41 
0.18 

q30 
1.67 
;0.89 
;0.37 
0.09 

q40 
1.90 
;1.02 
;0.19 
0.04 

q50 
1.74 
;0.43 
0.14 
0.03 

q60 
1.70 
0.07 
0.42 
0.17 

q70 
2.78 
0.30 
0.94 
0.57 

q80 
5.28 
;0.17 
;0.34 
1.13 

q90 
6.53 
;0.08 
;0.81 
1.96 

qmax 
10.13 
;7.40 
1.82 
20.36 

1980;2000 

spring 
summer 
autumn 
winter 
39 
51 

qmin 
0.42 
;0.16 
0.66 
0.06 

q10 
0.54 
;0.26 
0.80 
0.21 

q20 
0.60 
;0.28 
0.82 
0.18 

q30 
0.14 
;1.15 
0.87 
0.25 


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