Multifractal scaling of daily runoff time series in agricultural watersheds

Xiaobo Zhou, Naraine Persaud, Huaguo Wang, Hangsheng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Multifractal scaling behavior of long-term records of daily runoff time series in 32 subwatersheds covering a wide range of sizes was examined. These subwatersheds were associated with four agricultural watersheds with different climates and topography. The empirical moment scaling curves obtained using the trace moment method showed that the runoff time series exhibited a multifractal behavior, which was valid over a time scale range from one day to about three years. The multifractal scaling of the runoff time series was well described by the Universal Multifractal Model. The spectral analysis (β < 1) and the order of fractional integration (H ≈ 0) indicated that the runoff time series were conservative. The multifractal parameters, α (multifractal index) and C1 (co-dimension), were reasonably close to each other for subwatersheds within each of the watersheds and were generally similar among the four watersheds. The α values of the four watersheds were 1.10 ± 0.13, 1.61 ± 0.06, 1.61 ± 0.24, and 1.63 ± 0.19. The C 1 values of four watersheds were 0.19 ± 0.01, 0.17 ± 0.01, 0.17 ± 0.04, and 0.11 ± 0.02. The multifractal analyses provided useful insight into the runoff time series, especially the occurrence and distribution of extreme events. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1659-1670
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifractal scaling of daily runoff time series in agricultural watersheds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this