Identification of long-term high-flow regime changes in selected stations along the Danube River

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The aim of the paper is to study spatial and temporal changes in the magnitude, duration and frequency of high flows in the Danube basin. A hydrological series of the mean daily discharges from 20 gauging stations (operated minimally since 1930) were used for the analysis of changes in the daily discharges. The high flow events were classified into three classes: high flow pulses, small floods, and large floods. For each year and for each class, the means of the peak discharges, the number and duration of events, and the rate of changes of the rising and falling limbs of the waves were determined.

The long-term trends of the annual time series obtained were analyzed and statistically evaluated. The long-term high flow changes were found to be different in three individual high flow classes. The duration of the category of high flow pulses is decreasing at 19 stations on the Danube and is statistically significant at the Linz, Vienna, Bratislava and Orsova stations. The frequency of the high flow pulses is increasing in all 20 stations. Also, the rising and falling rates of the high flow pulse category are increasing at the majority of the stations. The long-term trends of the selected characteristics of the small floods are very similar to the trends of the high flow pulses, i.e., the duration of small floods is decreasing, and their mean number per year is increasing. In the category of large floods the changes were not proved.

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