The full range of natural flow regime is essential for sustaining the riverine ecosystems and biodiversity, yet there are still limited tools available for assessment of flow regime alterations over a spectrum of temporal scales. Wavelet analysis has proven useful for detecting hydrologic alterations at multiple scales via the wavelet power spectrum (WPS) series. The existing approach based on the global WPS (GWPS) ratio tends to be dominated by the rare high-power flows so that alterations of the more frequent low-power flows are often underrepresented. We devise a new approach based on individual deviations between WPS (DWPS) that are root-mean-squared to yield the global DWPS (GDWPS). We test these two approaches on the three reaches of the Feitsui Reservoir system (Taiwan) that are subjected to different classes of anthropogenic interventions. The GDWPS reveal unique features that are not detected with the GWPS ratios. We also segregate the effects of individual subflow components on the overall flow regime alterations using the subflow GDWPS. The results show that the daily hydropeaking waves below the reservoir not only intensified the flow oscillations at daily scale but most significantly eliminated subweekly flow variability. Alterations of flow regime were most severe below the diversion weir, where the residual hydropeaking resulted in a maximum impact at daily scale while the postdiversion null flows led to large hydrologic alterations over submonthly scales. The smallest impacts below the confluence reveal that the hydrologic alterations at scales longer than 2 days were substantially mitigated with the joining of the unregulated tributary flows, whereas the daily-scale hydrologic alteration was retained because of the hydropeaking inherited from the reservoir releases. The proposed DWPS approach unravels for the first time the details of flow regime alterations at these intermediate scales that are overridden by the low-frequency high-power flows when the long-term averaged GWPS are used.
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