Hydroclimatology of the Upper Madeira River basin: spatio-temporal variability and trends

Jorge Molina-Carpio, Jhan Carlo Espinoza, Philippe Vauchel, Josyane Ronchail, Beatriz Gutierrez Caloir, Jean Loup Guyot, Luis Noriega

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38 Scopus citations


Rising in the Andes, the Madeira River drains the southwestern part of the Amazon basin, which is characterized by high geographical, biological and climatic diversity. This study uses daily records to assess the spatio-temporal runoff variability in the Madeira sub-basins. Results show that inter-annual variability of both discharge and rainfall differs between Andean and lowland tributaries. High-flow discharge variability in the Andean tributaries and the Guaporé River is mostly related to sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific in austral summer, while tropical North Atlantic (TNA) SST modulates rainfall and discharge variability in the lowlands. There also is a downward trend in the low-flow discharge of the lowland tributaries which is not observed in the Andes. Because low-flow discharge values at most lowland stations are negatively related to the SST in the tropical North Atlantic, these trends could be explained by the warming of this ocean since the 1970s. EDITOR A. Castellarin ASSOCIATE EDITOR A. Viglione.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-927
Number of pages17
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 26 Apr 2017

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© 2017 IAHS.


  • Amazon basin
  • Madeira River
  • runoff trend
  • runoff variability
  • sea surface temperature


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