Determination of decadal climatic cycles in runoff fluctuation of a hydrologic unit

L. BRITO-CASTILLO, A. LEYVA CONTRERAS, V. A. SHELUTKO

Abstract

A group of 60 runoff and 15 precipitation time-series, all belonging to a hydrological unit in Southwest Mexico, in the Pacific watershed was analyzed. The internal homogeneity of the time series was tested and then they were completed for the calculation period using suitable statistical methods. Three homogeneous regions were defined in the studied zone through correlation matrices. The climatic decadal cycles were determined with the help of the integrated differences curves. The anthropogenic impact on the runoffs was estimated through the homogeneity curves. The length of the cycles were ranged from 30 to 40 years. The structure of the decadal cycles permitted the estimation of the duration of deficiency, abundance, and normality runoff periods in each region. The cyclical structure of the regional runoffs can be explained by precipitation. The anthropogenic impact was important in the middle of the general streamflow, where the two main streamflows connect through Chapala Lake. It was demonstrated that, in spite of the anthropogenic impact on part of the hydrologic system, it continues to be naturally regulated by climatic factors and still constitutes a hydrological unit. The estimation of the lengths of different phases of the decadal cycle can be used for the management of the regional water resources.

Keywords

Runoff cycles; hydrologic unit; management of water resources

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