The Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) framework, which can be used to determine and implement environmental flows at regional scales, requires accurate flow regime alteration assessment. The widely used range of variability approach (RVA) evaluates flow regime alteration by comparing the distribution of 32 Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA). However, the traditional RVA method is not comprehensive, because it neglects both the human-induced inner characteristics of one hydrological year (ICOHY) and the positional information of 32 IHA, which are the main factors behind ecosystem alteration. To address these limitations, we propose a revised RVA method that uses the Tanimoto similarity (TS
) coefficient to reflect the ICOHY and a first-order connectivity index to reflect the IHA positional information. The yearly Tanimoto alteration (TA
) index is measured using the revised RVA method, and the individual alteration (IA
) values of each of 32 IHA are calculated using the traditional RVA method. Then, a new index, the overall degree of flow regime alteration (OA
), is derived from the TA
values. The effectiveness of the revised RVA method is tested in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, and the results suggest that the revised RVA ameliorates the limitations of the traditional RVA, and therefore, is preferable for use in the ELOHA framework.
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