Streamflow characterization using functional data analysis of the Potomac River

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, Calif.

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Flooding and droughts are extreme hydrological events that affect the United States economically and socially. The severity and unpredictability of flooding has caused billions of dollars in damage and the loss of lives in the eastern United States. In this context, there is an urgent need to build a firm scientific basis for adaptation by developing and applying new modeling techniques for accurate streamflow characterization and reliable hydrological forecasting. The goal of this analysis is to use numerical streamflow characteristics in order to classify, model, and estimate the likelihood of extreme events in the eastern United States, mainly the Potomac River. Functional data analysis techniques are used to study yearly streamflow patterns, with the extreme streamflow events characterized via functional principal component analysis. These methods are merged with more classical techniques such as cluster analysis, classification analysis, and time series modeling. The developed functional data analysis approach is used to model continuous streamflow hydrographs. The forecasting potential of this technique is explored by incorporating climate factors to produce a yearly streamflow outlook.

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