Nonstationarity versus scaling in hydrology

D. Koutsoyiannis, Nonstationarity versus scaling in hydrology, Journal of Hydrology, 324, 239–254, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2005.09.022, 2006.



The perception of a changing climate, which impacts also hydrological processes, is now generally admitted. However, the way of handling the changing nature of climate in hydrologic practice and especially in hydrological statistics has not become clear so far. The most common modelling approach is to assume that long-term trends, which have been found to be omnipresent in long hydrological time series, are "deterministic" components of the time series and the processes represented by the time series are nonstationary. In this paper, it is maintained that this approach is contradictory in its rationale and even in the terminology it uses. As a result, it may imply misleading perception of phenomena and estimate of uncertainty. Besides, it is maintained that a stochastic approach hypothesizing stationarity and simultaneously admitting a scaling behaviour reproduces climatic trends (considering them as large-scale fluctuations) in a manner that is logically consistent, easy to apply and free of paradoxical results about uncertainty.

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Our works referenced by this work:

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Our works that reference this work:

1. A. Langousis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, A stochastic methodology for generation of seasonal time series reproducing overyear scaling behaviour, Journal of Hydrology, 322, 138–154, 2006.
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Tagged under: Course bibliography: Stochastic methods, Climate stochastics, Determinism vs. stochasticity, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics, Scaling, Uncertainty