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Open AccessArticle

New Methods for the Assessment of Flow Regime Alteration under Climate Change and Human Disturbance

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State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Center for Global Change and Water Cycle, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
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State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
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Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
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China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
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School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
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Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Yellow River Institute of Hydraulic Research, Yellow River Conservancy Commission, Zhengzhou 450003, China
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2435; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122435
Received: 28 September 2019 / Revised: 7 November 2019 / Accepted: 15 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Climate change and anthropogenic activities do collectively lead to an alteration of the flow regime, posing a great influence upon the structure and persistence of native biotic communities within river ecosystems. The range of variability approach (RVA) method is commonly used to evaluate the flow regime alteration. However, it was reported to underestimate the degree of flow regime potentially. In this study, two new assessment methods/metrics for evaluating the process behaviors of the flow regime are developed based on Euclidean distance and dynamic time warping (DTW) distance. They are then integrated with the metric of RVA, generating two composite metrics that represent both frequency and process changes of the flow regime. The new methods/metrics were applied to identify the flow regime alteration in a typical basin in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, China. The results show that the composite metrics consistently reveal a high alteration degree of flow regime in the basin. The decreased biological integrity of fish demonstrates the reasonability of the high-level overall alteration to some degree. The updated methods enable more scientific evaluation for the complex hydrologic alteration under a changing environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: alteration of flow regime; range of variability approach (RVA); indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHAs); updated assessment methods; the middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin; changing environment alteration of flow regime; range of variability approach (RVA); indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHAs); updated assessment methods; the middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin; changing environment
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Shi, P.; Liu, J.; Yang, T.; Xu, C.-Y.; Feng, J.; Yong, B.; Cui, T.; Li, Z.; Li, S. New Methods for the Assessment of Flow Regime Alteration under Climate Change and Human Disturbance. Water 2019, 11, 2435.

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