Author(s): Roberto Ranzi; Massimo Tomirotti; Eleni Maria Michailidi; Michele Brunetti; Alice Crespi; Maurizio Maugeri
Linked Author(s): Roberto Ranzi
Keywords: Trend detection; Adda River; Wavelet transform; Long term records; Climate change
Abstract: A recovery of ancient records of the Como Lake water levels at the Fortilizio in Lecco hydrometric station enabled the reconstruction of a time series of daily water level and runoff from the Como Lake spanning the 1845-2014 period. In parallel, the monthly areal precipitation at the Adda river catchment scale was estimated for the same 170 years-long period. This time series, which is one of the longest available for Italian riverbasins will support analyses of the reasons of changes in the runoff regime in response to climatic and anthropogenic changes. A comparison of the two series applying the Mann-Kendall, Spearman and Theil-Sen trend tests, shows a decline, in the long term, of runoff and a more significant one of precipitation. Because some changes in the operation at the outlet of the Como Lake occurred after 1946 and also in the storage capacity of the upstream reservoirs the time series was splitted in two periods, before and after 1946. The results of the statistical tests for both precipitation and runoff in three time periods are consistent, but only for the time series of annual runoff the decline is statistically significant with 5% significance level. To analyse if changes occurred at different time scales the wavelet transform was applied to the daily runoff series. Finally the Fourier power spectrum of the the daily runoff data shows a signal of higher energy corresponding to a period between 11 and 13 years, close to the sunspots cycle period, and its significance is under investigation.