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Freshwater Delivery to the Gulf of Mexico: an analysis of streamflow trends in the Southeast US from 1950 - 2015
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Rodgers K.D., Roland V.L., Hoos A.B., Knight R.R.
The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. EPA are collaborating to assess the climatic, physiographic, and anthropogenic factors driving spatial variability and temporal trends in the freshwater delivery to the Gulf of Mexico. The timing and magnitude of fresh water delivery influences terrestrial and aquatic communities, changing community composition and altering habitats necessary to support indigenous life. Streamflow at 139 stream gaging stations in the southeastern United States were analyzed from 1950 to 2015 to determine if climatic oscillation, spatial correlation, and variability in the streamflow indicated significant increases or decrease for the period of record. This study examined spatial and temporal patterns in seasonal and monthly mean daily streamflow and for quantiles of streamflow. Three primary methods were used to analyze streamflow trends including: 1) the non-parametric Mann-Kendall trends test to identify monotonic change, 2) cluster analysis to determine if trends in streamflow were regional in nature, and 3) Quantile-Kendall analysis to identify trends over the period of record. Results from our analysis have identified significant trends in monthly and seasonal streamflow values as well as significant trends over the entire flow regime.