Stuart S.'Stu' Schwartz is one of the brightest bulbs around when it comes to hydrologic systems analysis and statistical hydrology. How do I know this? Over a decade ago I served with him on a National Research Council committee that developed a vision for the USGS National Water Use Information Program (NWUIP). That was a great project; a number of our receommendations have since been implemented. Stu did a lot of the heavy lifting.
A few years ago I reviewed a report on which he was the senior author: Baseflow Signatures of Sustainable Water Resources by Stuart S. Schwartz, Brennan Smith, and Michael McGuire. It was published in late November 2012.
Increasing trends in suburban and exurban development are fragmenting Maryland’s agricultural and forested lands, amplifying the cumulative stresses on the State’s water resources. This project developed methods to evaluate the effects of landscape fragmentation on the sustainability of Maryland’s water resources through regional analysis of low flow characteristics of gauged stream flow. A consistent set of heuristic baseflow metrics, representing hydrologic and hydraulic characteristics of baseflow response, provided a multimetric signature of human alteration of Maryland’s water resources. The methods developed in this project demonstrate clear consistent insights into the interaction of human activities and sustainable water resources, and are directly transferable to other gauged watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Where available, streamflow information can provide a rich reliable diagnostic tool to quantify human impacts to the hydrologic system and the baseflow signatures of sustainable water resources.
Stu also just sent me another baseflow publication that I reviewed, Slowflow Fingerprints of Urban Hydrology, by himself and Brennan Smith.
Urban streamflow is commonly characterized by increased peak discharges and runoff volumes. Slowflow integrates altered storage and transit times affecting urban recharge and drainage, resulting in a highly variable indeterminate urban slowflow response. This study introduces the use of multiple baseflow metrics to characterize and interpret the dominant processes driving urban slowflow response. Slowflow characteristics derived from USGS streamflow records are used to quantify the patterns of hydrologic alteration across the rural-to-urban landuse gradient in the Piedmont watersheds of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), an NSF Urban Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. We interpret multimetric slowflow response from a top-down perspective, learning from data, in order to draw dominant process inferences from observed slowflow. When characterized by a single slowflow metric such as the baseflow index, urban slowflow response can exhibit equifinality and is not reliably predicted a priori. Multimetric analysis quantifies distinct differences in urban slow- flow response, framing testable hypotheses and refined experimental designs to elucidate the dominant processes driving urban slowflow. Multimetric fingerprinting offers a consistent framework for interpret- ing urban slowflow response, constrained by the equifinality of single slowflow metrics and the inherent limitations on process inferences that can be drawn from gauged streamflow alone. Heterogeneity of observed slowflow belies the simple paradigm of a single consistent type of urban slowflow response. In contrast, we suggest a conceptual typology of urban slowflow response, framing a conceptual mixing model of dominant process endpoints that shape the slowflow fingerprints of urban hydrology.
Very well done and incredibly referenced!
Enjoy! And don't forget that in the US about 30% of streamflow is from groundwater!
"Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable than risk being happy." - Robert Anthony (thanks to Faruck Morcos)