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Identify temporal trend of air temperature and its impact on forest stream flow in Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley using wavelet analysis

Ouyang, Ying, Parajuli, Prem B., Li, Yide, Leininger, Theodor D., Feng, Gary
Journal of environmental management 2017 v.198 pp. 21-31
air temperature, climate, climate change, ecological restoration, forests, land use, monitoring, planning, stream flow, streams, surface water, water management, water supply, wavelet, Mississippi River
Characterization of stream flow is essential to water resource management, water supply planning, environmental protection, and ecological restoration; while air temperature variation due to climate change can exacerbate stream flow and add instability to the flow. In this study, the wavelet analysis technique was employed to identify temporal trend of air temperature and its impact upon forest stream flows in Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMRAV). Four surface water monitoring stations, which locate near the headwater areas with very few land use disturbances and the long-term data records (60–90 years) in the LMRAV, were selected to obtain stream discharge and air temperature data. The wavelet analysis showed that air temperature had an increasing temporal trend around its mean value during the past several decades in the LMRAV, whereas stream flow had a decreasing temporal trend around its average value at the same time period in the same region. Results of this study demonstrated that the climate in the LMRAV did get warmer as time elapsed and the streams were drier as a result of warmer air temperature. This study further revealed that the best way to estimate the temporal trends of air temperature and stream flow was to perform the wavelet transformation around their mean values.