Ubiquitous Fractal Scaling and Filtering Behavior of Hydrologic Fluxes and Storages from A Mountain Headwater Catchment
Knowles, John F.
Wright, William E.
“Ty” Ferre, Paul A.
Barron-Gafford, Greg A.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Atmospher Sci
Univ Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev
Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci
Univ Arizona, Biosphere 2
Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
Univ Arizona, Lab Tree Ring Res
Univ Arizona, Dept Environm Sci
time series analysis
catchment water balance
MetadataShow full item record
CitationDwivedi, R.; Knowles, J.F.; Eastoe, C.; Minor, R.; Abramson, N.; Mitra, B.; Wright, W.E.; McIntosh, J.; Meixner, T.; “Ty” Ferre, P.A.; Castro, C.; Niu, G.-Y.; Barron-Gafford, G.A.; Stanley, M.; Chorover, J. Ubiquitous Fractal Scaling and Filtering Behavior of Hydrologic Fluxes and Storages from A Mountain Headwater Catchment. Water 2020, 12, 613.
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AbstractWe used the weighted wavelet method to perform spectral analysis of observed long-term precipitation, streamflow, actual evapotranspiration, and soil water storage at a sub-humid mountain catchment near Tucson, Arizona, USA. Fractal scaling in precipitation and the daily change in soil water storage occurred up to a period of 14 days and corresponded to the typical duration of relatively wet and dry intervals. In contrast, fractal scaling could be observed up to a period of 0.5 years in streamflow and actual evapotranspiration. By considering long-term observations of hydrologic fluxes and storages, we show that, in contrast to previous findings, the phase relationships between water balance components changed with component period and were not perfectly in or out of phase at all periods. Self-averaging behavior was apparent, but the temporal scales over which this behavior was applicable differed among the various water balance components. Conservative tracer analysis showed that this catchment acted as a fractal filter by transforming white noise in the precipitation input signal to a 1/f flicker in the streamflow output signal by means of both spatial and temporal subsurface advection and dispersion processes and soil wetting properties. This study provides an improved understanding of hydrological filtering behavior in mountain critical zones that are critical sources of water and ecosystem services throughout the world.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).