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Changes in seasonal streamflow extremes experienced in rivers of Northwestern South America (Colombia)


A measure of the variability in seasonal extreme streamflow was estimated for the Colombian Caribbean coast, using monthly time series of freshwater discharge from ten watersheds. The aim was to detect modifications in the streamflow monthly distribution, seasonal trends, variance and extreme monthly values. A 20-year length time moving window, with 1-year successive shiftments, was applied to the monthly series to analyze the seasonal variability of streamflow. The seasonal-windowed data were statistically fitted through the Gamma distribution function. Scale and shape parameters were computed using the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) and the bootstrap method for 1000 resample. A trend analysis was performed for each windowed-serie, allowing to detect the window of maximum absolute values for trends. Significant temporal shifts in seasonal streamflow distribution and quantiles (QT), were obtained for different frequencies. Wet and dry extremes periods increased significantly in the last decades. Such increase did not occur simultaneously through the region. Some locations exhibited continuous increases only at minimum QT.

Palabras clave
time series analysis
extremes analysis

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