Relationship between the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index and variability of mean annual flows for catchments in the St. Lawrence watershed (Quebec, Canada) during the past century

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This paper, based on an analysis of the mean annual flow (MAF) of 16 natural rivers over the period 1934–2000, has the following goals: (1) to determine the different temporal variability modes of the MAF in the St. Lawrence watershed, (2) to describe the temporal variability of the streamflow in each mode and (3) to analyze the influence of the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) on the interannual and interdecadal variability of mean annual flows in this Quebec watershed.

This paper shows that the interannual variability of mean annual flow was not synchronous on both sides of the river. During the period analyzed, MAF variability was characterized by a tendency to decrease on the south shore (right bank) but to increase on the north shore (left bank). A correlation analysis reveals that the influence of the AMO was limited exclusively to the north shore of the river, which is characterized by a continental climate. This correlation is negative. On the south shore, streamflow is correlated negatively to the AO (Arctic Oscillation).

Keywords: climatic indices, correlation analysis, mean annual flows, principal component analysis, Quebec, St. Lawrence watershed

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