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      Classifying Streamflow Duration: The Scientific Basis and an Operational Framework for Method Development

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          Abstract

          Streamflow duration is used to differentiate reaches into discrete classes (e.g., perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral) for water resource management. Because the depiction of the extent and flow duration of streams via existing maps, remote sensing, and gauging is constrained, field-based tools are needed for use by practitioners and to validate hydrography and modeling advances. Streamflow Duration Assessment Methods (SDAMs) are rapid, reach-scale indices or models that use physical and biological indicators to predict flow duration class. We review the scientific basis for indicators and present conceptual and operational frameworks for SDAM development. Indicators can be responses to or controls of flow duration. Aquatic and terrestrial responses can be integrated into SDAMs, reflecting concurrent increases and decreases along the flow duration gradient. The conceptual framework for data-driven SDAM development shows interrelationships among the key components: study reaches, hydrologic data, and indicators. We present a generalized operational framework for SDAM development that integrates the data-driven components through five process steps: preparation, data collection, data analysis, evaluation, and implementation. We highlight priorities for the advancement of SDAMs, including expansion of gauging of nonperennial reaches, use of citizen science data, adjusting for stressor gradients, and statistical and monitoring advances to improve indicator effectiveness.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                101613952
                43756
                Water (Basel)
                Water (Basel)
                Water
                2073-4441
                8 October 2020
                11 September 2020
                11 September 2021
                : 12
                : 9
                : 1-2545
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
                [2 ]Region 10, US Environmental Protection Agency, Portland, OR 97205, USA
                [3 ]Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA
                [4 ]Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
                [5 ]Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
                Author notes
                [†]

                Current Affiliation: Region 8, US Environmental Protection Agency, Denver, CO 80202, USA.

                Author Contributions: Conceptualization, K.M.F., T.-L.N., J.E.K., W.S.B., R.A.H., R.D.M. and B.J.T.; writing—original draft preparation, K.M.F., T.-L.N., J.E.K., W.S.B. and R.A.H.; writing—review and editing, K.M.F., T.-L.N., J.E.K., R.A.H., W.S.B., R.D.M. and B.J.T.; visualization, K.M.F., T.-L.N. and R.D.M.; supervision, K.M.F., J.E.K., T.-L.N., W.S.B. and R.D.M.; project administration, J.E.K., R.A.H. and B.J.T.; funding acquisition, B.J.T. All authors contributed to the work. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

                [* ]Correspondence: fritz.ken@ 123456epa.gov
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3831-2531
                Article
                EPAPA1629445
                10.3390/w12092545
                7592706
                33133647
                7916d980-4d41-4d5e-830e-bc110d29e31a

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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                Categories
                Article

                classification,flow duration,indicators,perennial,intermittent,ephemeral,temporary,flow permanence,intermittency,rapid assessment

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