Trend in hydrological series and land use changes in a tropical basin at Northeast Brazil

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Lorena Souza da Silva
Lorena Lima Ferraz
Lucas Farias de Sousa
Carlos Amilton Silva Santos
Felizardo Adenilson Rocha


Flow is one of the hydrological variables of greatest interest due to its connection with water availability and its multiple uses. However, in recent years this resource has been threatened by intense land use and climate change, affecting patterns previously considered to be stationary. The goal of this study was to evaluate trends in changes of patterns of flow, precipitation, and land use in a basin located in the Brazilian Cerrado. 33 years of rainfall, fluviometric, and land use data were used, covering the period of 1985 to 2018 on an annual scale. Mann-Kendall and Sen Slope’s nonparametric test was applied to evaluate the trends in temporal series, as well as the Spearman Rho and Pettit, which were used to analyze the correlations between variables and detect the point of change in the series, respectively. The results show statistically significant trends in flow reduction over time. At the same time, a considerable reduction in natural areas occurred, with an increase of +750% in agricultural areas. The results also show that although a tendency to reduce precipitation was detected, its magnitude was not significant, with land use changes being the main factor for the negative changes in the flow of the Rio Grande tributary.

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How to Cite
da Silva, L., Ferraz, L., de Sousa, L., Silva Santos, C., & Rocha, F. (2022). Trend in hydrological series and land use changes in a tropical basin at Northeast Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Environmental Sciences (Online), 57(1), 137-147.


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