Using low flow recession to evaluate the basin of storage–discharge sensitivity in taiwan

Chia Chi Huang, Chien Chung Ke, Hsin Fu Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous sensitivity analyses on the hydrological behavior of basins mainly focused on the correlation between streamflow and climate. However, this method fails to account for the uncertainty of future climate condition, and complex hydrological models are not required. In recent years, climate change and human activity have significantly affected groundwater storage. The streamflow of many basins is maintained by the discharge of upstream aquifers, yet the sensitivity theories governing the relationship between streamflow and storage changes remain inconclusive. In this study, more than 30 years of streamflow and rainfall data in 22 basins in Taiwan were collected and analyzed to investigate the storage-discharge sensitivity of basins. A set of water balance concepts and a low flow recession analysis method with ignoring rainfall and evapotranspiration effects were used to evaluate the relationship between the storage variance and drainage variance of basins. Then, the storage-discharge sensitivity outcomes were analyzed to validate whether the storage-drainage behaviors of the Taiwanese basins were affected by climate and human activity and highlight the regional differences of the basins. Findings indicated that the average storage-drainage sensitivity of the northern basins was 0.056 mm-1, that of the southern basins was 0.162mm-1, and those of the central and eastern basins were similar at roughly 0.020 mm-1. These results show that the basins in Southern Taiwan had a higher storage-discharge sensitivity than the other basins. An analysis of the changes in the recession curves revealed that besides apparent differences in regional aquifer characteristics, potential factors influencing sensitivity included land use/cover and the different regional rainfall patterns in the dry and wet seasons. These factors significantly affected the groundwater recharge mechanism, causing obvious differences in regional storage-discharge relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Taiwan Agricultural Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering


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