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Open AccessArticle

Quantitative Assessment of Flow Regime Alteration Using a Revised Range of Variability Methods

1
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
2
Department of Water Environment, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
3
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., Christchurch 8440, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(5), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050597
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
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 and IA 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: first-order connectivity index; Tanimoto similarity; flow regime alteration; ELOHA first-order connectivity index; Tanimoto similarity; flow regime alteration; ELOHA
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Ge, J.; Peng, W.; Huang, W.; Qu, X.; Singh, S.K. Quantitative Assessment of Flow Regime Alteration Using a Revised Range of Variability Methods. Water 2018, 10, 597.

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