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Multi-scale analysis of streamflow using the Hilbert-Huang Transform

Chongli Di (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Xiaohua Yang (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Xuejun Zhang (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Jun He (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Ying Mei (School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 29 July 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to simulate and analyze accurately the multi-scale characteristics, variation periods and trends of the annual streamflow series in the Haihe River Basin (HRB) using the Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT).

Design/methodology/approach

The Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) approach is adopted to decompose the original signal into intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) in multi-scales. The Hilbert spectrum is applied to each IMF component and the localized time-frequency-energy distribution. The monotonic residues obtained by EMD can be treated as the trend of the original sequence.

Findings

The authors apply HHT to 14 hydrological stations in the HRB. The annual streamflow series are decomposed into four IMFs and a residual component, which exhibits the multi-scale characteristics. After the Hilbert transform, the instantaneous frequency, center frequency and mean period of the IMFs are obtained. Common multi-scale periods of the 14 series exist, e.g. 3.3a, 4∼7a, 8∼10a, 11-14a, 24∼25a and 43∼45a. The residues indicate that the annual streamflow series has exhibited a decreasing trend over the past 50 years.

Research limitations/implications

The HHT method is still in its early stages of application in hydrology and needs to be further tested.

Practical implications

It is helpful for the study of the complex features of streamflow.

Social implications

This paper will contribute to the sustainable utilization of water resources.

Originality/value

This study represents the first use of the HHT method to analyze the multi-scale characteristics of the streamflow series in the HRB. This paper provides an important theoretical support for water resources management.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Project of National Natural Foundation of China (No. 50939001, 51079004), the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2010CB951104), the Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (No. 51121003), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No. 20100003110024), and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT0809).

Citation

Di, C., Yang, X., Zhang, X., He, J. and Mei, Y. (2014), "Multi-scale analysis of streamflow using the Hilbert-Huang Transform", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 1363-1377. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-04-2013-0110

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited