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Web-Based BFlow System for the Assessment of Streamflow Characteristics at National Level

Jung, Younghun, Shin, Yongchul, Won, Nam-Il, Lim, Kyoung Jae
Water 2016 v.8 no.9
Internet, base flow, climate, computer software, ecosystems, human communities, monsoon season, rivers, runoff, watersheds, South Korea
Distinct seasonal characteristics of monsoon climate significantly affect river streamflow in South Korea. The roles of direct runoff and baseflow on streamflow have become more important to ecosystems and human communities in various watersheds of South Korea. Understanding river characteristics, including direct runoff and baseflow, is the first step of river management and can make a significant contribution to maintaining a sustainable and effective river environment. In this regard, this study involves twin objectives: (1) developing the web-based BFlow system to gain advantages in the time and effort required relative to the DOS (Disk Operation System)-based BFlow program; and (2) assessing the contributions of baseflow and direct runoff to streamflow for river management at the national level. For this, we investigated all streamflow gauge stations in South Korea and, then, used the BFlow program to separate baseflow from the available streamflow data. The results showed that baseflow index for 254 streamflow gauge stations ranged from 0.28 to 0.89. Gauge stations with a baseflow index greater than 0.5 accounted for 64% of total stations. The web-based system developed in this study is a more MS (Microsoft) user-friendly version of BFlow. Furthermore, this study illustrated that high baseflow indexes were generally found at gauge stations with a low coefficient of variation of streamflow. The web-based BFlow system will provide understanding to strategically control rivers and improve the efficiency and safety of river management at the national level.