Over the years, several studies have been carried out to investigate how the statistics of annual discharge maxima vary with the size of basins, with diverse findings regarding the observed type of scaling (i.e., simple scaling vs. multiscaling), especially in cases where the data originated from regions with significantly different hydroclimatic characteristics. In this context, an important question arises on how one can effectively conclude on an approximate type of statistical scaling of annual discharge maxima with respect to the basin size. The present study aims at addressing this question, using daily discharges from 805 catchments located in different parts of the United Kingdom, with at least 30 years of recordings. To do so, we isolate the effects of the catchment area and the local rainfall climatology, and examine how the statistics of the standardized discharge maxima vary with the basin scale. The obtained results show that: (a) the local rainfall climatology is an important contributor to the observed statistics of peak annual discharges, and (b) when the effects of the local rainfall climatology are properly isolated, the scaling of the standardized annual discharge maxima with the area of the catchment closely follows that commonly met in actual rainfields, deviating significantly from the simple scaling rule. The aforementioned findings explain to a large extent the diverse results obtained by previous studies in the absence of rainfall information, shedding light on the approximate type of scaling of annual discharge maxima with the basin size.
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