AGU 2017 Poster Presentation by Sarmistha Singh: Effect of Modulation of ENSO by Decadal and Multidecadal Ocean–Atmospheric Oscillations on Continental US Streamflows

Center for the Environment
December 14, 2017
1:40 PM - 6:00 PM
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Poster Hall D-F


Evaluation of the influences of individual and coupled oceanic-atmospheric oscillations on streamflow at a regional scale in the United States is the focus of this study. The main climatic oscillations considered in this study are: El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Unimpacted or minimally impacted by water management streamflow data from the Model Parameter Estimation Experiment (MOPEX) were used in this study. Two robust and novel non-parametric tests, namely, the rank based partial least square (PLS) and the Joint Rank Fit (JRFit) procedures were used to identify the individual and coupled effect of oscillations on streamflow across continental U.S. (CONUS), respectively. Moreover, the interactive effects of ENSO with decadal and multidecadal cycles were tested and quantified using the JRFit interaction test. The analysis of ENSO indicated higher streamflows during La Niña phase compared to the El Niño phase in Northwest, Northeast and the lower part of Ohio Valley while the opposite occurs for rest of the climatic regions in US. Two distinct climate regions (Northwest and Southeast) were identified from the PDO analysis where PDO negative phase results in increased streamflow than PDO positive phase. Consistent negative and positive correlated regions around the CONUS were identified for AMO and NAO, respectively. The interaction test of ENSO with decadal and multidecadal oscillations showed that El Niño is modulated by the negative phase of PDO and NAO, and the positive phase of AMO, respectively, in the Upper Midwest. However, La Niña is modulated by the positive phase of AMO and PDO in Ohio Valley and Northeast while in Southeast and the South it is modulated by AMO negative phase. Results of this study will assist water managers to understand the streamflow change patterns across the CONUS at decadal and multi-decadal time scales. The information derived from this study would be helpful for regional water managers in forecasting regional water availability and help them develop drought adaptation and mitigation policies by incorporating information based on the large scale ocean-atmospheric cycles.

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