Document Type

Article

Rights

Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Disciplines

2.1 CIVIL ENGINEERING, 2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

Abstract

A combination of statistical hypothesis testing methods (Mann-Whitney, Mann-Kendall and Spearman’s rho) and visual exploratory analysis were used to investigate trends in Irish 7-day sustained low-flow (7SLF) series possibly driven by changes in summer rainfall patterns. River flow data from 33 gauging stations covering most major Irish rivers were analysed, after excluding catchments where low flows are influenced by significant human interventions. A statistically significant increasing trend in the 7SLF series was identified by all three tests at eight gauging stations; in contrast, a statistically significant decreasing trend was identified by all three tests at four stations. The stations with increasing trends are mainly located within the western half of the country, while there is no particular spatial clustering of the stations showing a decreasing trend. Further analysis suggests that the increasing trend in the 7SLF time series persists regardless of the starting year of analysis. However, the decreasing trend occurs only when years prior to 1970 are included in the analysis, and disappears, or is reversed, if only the data from 1970 and onwards are considered. There is strong evidence that the direction of the trends in the 7SLF series is determined mainly by trends in total summer rainfall amounts, i.e. is linked to weather.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2016.1266361


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