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Streamflow variability and its relationship with climate indices in western rivers of Argentina

Lauro, Carolina, Vich, Alberto I. J., Moreiras, Stella Maris
Hydrological sciences journal 2019 v.64 no.5 pp. 607-619
basins, climate, rivers, stream flow, watersheds, Andes region, Argentina
The objective of this study was to examine the streamflow variability of Argentinean Andean basins (22°–52°S). Trends and step changes of seven hydrological variables were analysed. In addition, relationships between the hydrological variables and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Niño 3.4, and Southern Annular Mode (SAM) indices were analysed. Most streamflow variables showed upward trends in the northwest and central-western basins, while downward trends were identified in the Patagonia (southwestern) region. Streamflow of the central-western and Patagonian basins was positively correlated with the Niño 3.4 index. Moreover, an inverse relationship with the SAM was found in watersheds south of 37°S. Positive step changes associated with the PDO phases in the north and central-western basins in the mid-1970s were detected, while negative step changes resulted in Patagonia between 1970 and 2000. This research provides new evidence of the influence of major climate modes on streamflow variability in the western rivers of Argentina.