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Article

Is It Optimal to Use the Entirety of the Available Flow Records in the Range of Variability Approach?

State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China
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Water 2020, 12(11), 3280; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113280
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 10 November 2020 / Accepted: 20 November 2020 / Published: 22 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Reducing the degree of flow regime alteration is a basic principle for biodiversity conservation in rivers. The range of variability approach (RVA) is the most widely used method to assess flow regime alteration. Generally, researchers tend to put all of the available pre-impact and post-impact flow records into the RVA. However, no research has tested whether it is optimal to use the entirety of the available flow records from the perspective of calculation accuracy for the degree of flow regime alteration. In this research, a series of numerical simulations is conducted, demonstrating that the greatest accuracy for flow regime alteration degree assessed by the RVA is achieved when the length of both the pre- and post-impact flow time series is set equal to multiples of periodicity length, and that, when attempting to put the whole available flow record into the RVA, calculation accuracy may be reduced. On the basis of these findings, we further propose revising the traditional RVA procedure by assessing the periodicity of the pre- and post-impact flow time series in advance. If the periodicity of the pre- or post-impact flows is detected, the length of the time series should be set equal to its periodicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow regime; hydrologic alteration; RVA; record length; hydrologic periodicity flow regime; hydrologic alteration; RVA; record length; hydrologic periodicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, Y.; Liu, C.; Zhao, Y.; Mao, X.; Zhang, J.; Liu, H. Is It Optimal to Use the Entirety of the Available Flow Records in the Range of Variability Approach? Water 2020, 12, 3280. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113280

AMA Style

Sun Y, Liu C, Zhao Y, Mao X, Zhang J, Liu H. Is It Optimal to Use the Entirety of the Available Flow Records in the Range of Variability Approach? Water. 2020; 12(11):3280. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113280

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sun, Yuanyuan; Liu, Cailing; Zhao, Yanwei; Mao, Xianqiang; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Hongrui. 2020. "Is It Optimal to Use the Entirety of the Available Flow Records in the Range of Variability Approach?" Water 12, no. 11: 3280. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113280

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