Hydroclimatology of the North American Monsoon region in northwest Mexico

David J. Gochis, Luis Brito-Castillo, W. James Shuttleworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The North American Monsoon (NAM) system controls the warm season climate over much of southwestern North America. In this semi-arid environment, understanding the regional behavior of the hydroclimatology and its associated modes of variability is critically important to effectively predicting and managing perpetually stressed regional water resources. Equally as important is understanding the relationships through which warm season precipitation is converted into streamflow. This work explores the hydroclimatology of northwestern Mexico, i.e. the core region of the NAM, by (a) presenting a thorough review of recent hydroclimatic investigations from the region and (b) developing a detailed hydroclimatology of 15, unregulated, headwater basins along the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains in western Mexico. The present work is distinct from previous studies as it focuses on the intra-seasonal evolution of rainfall-runoff relationships, and contrasts the sub-regional behavior of the rainfall-runoff response. It is found that there is substantial sub-regional coherence in the hydrological response to monsoon precipitation. Three physically plausible regions emerge from a rotated Principal Components Analysis of streamflow and basin-averaged precipitation. Month-to-month streamflow persistence, rainfall-runoff correlation scores and runoff coefficient values demonstrate regional coherence and are generally consistent with what is currently known about sub-regional aspects of NAM precipitation character.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume316
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006

Fingerprint

runoff
monsoon
stream flow
Mexico
streamflow
warm season
rain
rainfall
basins
hydrological response
dry environmental conditions
arid environment
basin
headwater
water resources
control system
principal component analysis
persistence
water resource
mountains

Keywords

  • Hydroclimate
  • Intra-seasonal variability
  • Mexico
  • North American Monsoon
  • Regionalization
  • Runoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Hydroclimatology of the North American Monsoon region in northwest Mexico. / Gochis, David J.; Brito-Castillo, Luis; Shuttleworth, W. James.

In: Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 316, No. 1-4, 10.01.2006, p. 53-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gochis, David J. ; Brito-Castillo, Luis ; Shuttleworth, W. James. / Hydroclimatology of the North American Monsoon region in northwest Mexico. In: Journal of Hydrology. 2006 ; Vol. 316, No. 1-4. pp. 53-70.
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