On the Distributions of Seasonal River Flows: Lognormal or Power Law?. Bowers, M. C.; Tung, W. W.; and Gao, J. B. 48(5):W05536-n/a.
On the Distributions of Seasonal River Flows: Lognormal or Power Law? [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Distributional analysis of river discharge time series is an important task in many areas of hydrological engineering, including optimal design of water storage and drainage networks, management of extreme events, risk assessment for water supply, and environmental flow management, among many others. Having diverging moments, heavy-tailed power law distributions have attracted widespread attention, especially for the modeling of the likelihood of extreme events such as floods and droughts. However, straightforward distributional analysis does not connect well with the complicated dynamics of river flows, including fractal and multifractal behavior, chaos-like dynamics, and seasonality. To better reflect river flow dynamics, we propose to carry out distributional analysis of river flow time series according to three ” flow seasons”: dry, wet, and transitional. We present a concrete statistical procedure to partition river flow data into three such seasons and fit data in these seasons using two types of distributions, power law and lognormal. The latter distribution is a salient property of the cascade multiplicative multifractal model, which is among the best models for turbulence and rainfall. We show that while both power law and lognormal distributions are relevant to dry seasons, river flow data in wet seasons are typically better fitted by lognormal distributions than by power law distributions.
@article{bowersDistributionsSeasonalRiver2012,
  title = {On the Distributions of Seasonal River Flows: {{Lognormal}} or Power Law?},
  author = {Bowers, M. C. and Tung, W. W. and Gao, J. B.},
  date = {2012-05},
  journaltitle = {Water Resour. Res.},
  volume = {48},
  pages = {W05536-n/a},
  issn = {0043-1397},
  doi = {10.1029/2011wr011308},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1029/2011wr011308},
  abstract = {Distributional analysis of river discharge time series is an important task in many areas of hydrological engineering, including optimal design of water storage and drainage networks, management of extreme events, risk assessment for water supply, and environmental flow management, among many others. Having diverging moments, heavy-tailed power law distributions have attracted widespread attention, especially for the modeling of the likelihood of extreme events such as floods and droughts. However, straightforward distributional analysis does not connect well with the complicated dynamics of river flows, including fractal and multifractal behavior, chaos-like dynamics, and seasonality. To better reflect river flow dynamics, we propose to carry out distributional analysis of river flow time series according to three ” flow seasons”: dry, wet, and transitional. We present a concrete statistical procedure to partition river flow data into three such seasons and fit data in these seasons using two types of distributions, power law and lognormal. The latter distribution is a salient property of the cascade multiplicative multifractal model, which is among the best models for turbulence and rainfall. We show that while both power law and lognormal distributions are relevant to dry seasons, river flow data in wet seasons are typically better fitted by lognormal distributions than by power law distributions.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-12636787,fractal,lognormal-distribution,meteorology,pareto-distribution,power-law,river-flow,water-resources},
  number = {5}
}
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