Water Resources Management

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 3305–3313 | Cite as

Trends in Monthly Natural Streamflow in Romania and Linkages to Atmospheric Circulation in the North Atlantic

  • Marius-Victor BirsanEmail author


Natural and reconstructed monthly streamflow records from 172 river basins in Romania (143 with full records and 29 with less than 10 % missing values) have been analyzed for trends with the nonparametric Mann-Kendall test for the period 1956–2005. The statistical significance of trends was tested for each station on a monthly basis. Changes in the streamflow regime in Romania are demonstrated. The monthly flow presents upward trends from August to January, and predominantly downward trends from February to June. The most important changes are the increasing streamflow trends from September till November, which are well explained by the increase in autumn precipitation. The annual streamflow shows a dependence on latitude, with increasing trends in the northern part, and decreasing in the south. Strong negative correlations between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the mean annual streamflow have been found in western and southern Romania, highlighting the influence of the large-scale atmospheric circulation on Romanian annual streamflow in these areas, as well as the important orographic role of the Carpathian Mountains.


Natural flow regime Reconstructed streamflow Romania Mann-Kendall Monthly trends North Atlantic Oscillation 



Mrs. ing. Emilia Branescu from the Database and GIS Department of INHGA is kindly acknowledged for her valuable help on streamflow data. INHGA is Romania’s representative at WMO for the Hydrology domain. The comments and suggestions of two anonymous referees led to an improvement of the original manuscript.

Supplementary material

11269_2015_999_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Table 1. supplementary material (PDF 20 kb)


  1. Balteanu D, Chendes V, Sima M, Enciu P (2010) A country-wide spatial assessment of landslide susceptibility in Romania. Geomorphology 124(3–4):102–112. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.03.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bednorz E (2004) Snow cover in Eastern Europe in relation to temperature, precipitation and circulation. Int J Climatol 24:591–601. doi: 10.1002/joc.1014
  3. Beniston M (1997) Variations of snow depth and duration in the Swiss Alps over the last 50 years: links to changes in large-scale climatic forcings. Climatic Change 36(3–4): 281–300Google Scholar
  4. Birsan MV, Marin L, Dumitrescu A (2013) Seasonal changes in wind speed in Romania. Rom Rep Phys 65(4):1479–1484Google Scholar
  5. Birsan MV, Dumitrescu A (2014) Snow variability in Romania in connection to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Int J Climatol 34:134–144. doi: 10.1002/joc.3671 Google Scholar
  6. Birsan MV, Zaharia L, Chendes V, Branescu E (2012) Recent trends in streamflow in Romania (1976–2005). Rom Rep Phys 64(1):275–280Google Scholar
  7. Birsan MV, Zaharia L, Chendes V, Branescu E (2014a) Seasonal trends in Romanian streamflow. Hydrol Process 28(15):4496–4505. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9961 Google Scholar
  8. Birsan MV, Dumitrescu A, Micu DM, Cheval S (2014b) Changes in annual temperature extremes in the Carpathians since AD 1961. Nat Hazards 74(3):1899–1910. doi: 10.1007/s11069-014-1290-5
  9. Bojariu R, Dinu M (2007) Snow variability and change in Romania. In: Strasser U, Vogel M (eds) Proceedings of the Alpine Snow Workshop, Munich, 5–6 October 2006. Berchtesgaden National Park Report. 52: 64–68Google Scholar
  10. Bojariu R, Gimeno L (2003) Predictability and numerical modelling of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Earth-Sci Rev 63:145–168. doi: 10.1016/S0012-8252(03)00036-9 Google Scholar
  11. Bojariu R, Paliu D (2001) North Atlantic Oscillation projection on Romanian climate fluctuations in the cold season. In: Brunet M, Lopez D (eds) Detecting and Modelling Regional Climate Change and Associated Impacts. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg, pp 345–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Busuioc A, von Storch H (1996) Changes in the winter precipitation in Romania and its relation to the large-scale circulation. Tellus A 48(4):538–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Busuioc A, Caian M, Cheval S, Bojariu R, Boroneant C, Baciu M, Dumitrescu A (2010) Climate variability and change in Romania (in Romanian). Pro Universitaria, BucharestGoogle Scholar
  14. Busuioc A, Dobrinescu A, Birsan MV, Dumitrescu A, Orzan A (2014) Spatial and temporal variability of climate extremes in Romania and associated large-scale mechanisms. Int J Climatol. doi: 10.1002/joc.4054 Google Scholar
  15. Cheval S, Birsan MV, Dumitrescu A (2014a) Climate variability in the Carpathian Mountains Region over 1961–2010. Global Planet Change 118:85–96. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.04.005
  16. Cheval S, Busuioc A, Dumitrescu A, Birsan MV (2014b) Spatiotemporal variability of meteorological drought in Romania using the standardized precipitation index (SPI). Clim Res 60:235–248. doi: 10.3354/cr01245 Google Scholar
  17. Coulibaly P, Burn DH (2005) Spatial and temporal variability of Canadian seasonal streamflows. J Clim 18:192–210Google Scholar
  18. Croitoru AE, Minea I (2014) The impact of climate changes on rivers discharge in Eastern Romania. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-014-1194-z Google Scholar
  19. Croitoru AE, Piticar A, Dragota CS, Burada DC (2013) Recent changes in reference evapotranspiration in Romania. Glob Planet Chang 111:127–132. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.09.004 Google Scholar
  20. Dumitrescu A, Bojariu R, Birsan MV, Marin L, Manea A (2014) Recent climatic changes in Romania from observational data (1961–2013). Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-014-1290-0 Google Scholar
  21. EEA (2008) Impacts of Europe’s changing climate - 2008 indicator-based assessment. Report N°4/2008Google Scholar
  22. Giuntoli I, Renard B, Vidal JP, Bard A (2013) Low flows in France and their relationship to large-scale climate indices. J Hydrol 482:105–118Google Scholar
  23. Helsel DR, Hirsch RM (1992) Statistical Methods in Water Resources. ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  24. Hurrell J and the National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (eds) (2013) The Climate Data Guide: Hurrell North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index (PC-based). Last modified 08 Oct 2013. Retrieved from
  25. Ionita M (2015) Interannual summer streamflow variability over Romania and its connection to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Int J Climatol. doi: 10.1002/joc.4278
  26. Ionita M, Chelcea S, Rimbu N, Adler MJ (2014) Spatial and temporal variability of winter streamflow over Romania and its relationship to large-scale atmospheric circulation. J Hydrol 519:1339–1349. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.09.024 Google Scholar
  27. Kendall MG (1975) Rank Correlation Methods. Charles Griffin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Kingston DG, Lawler DM, McGregor GR (2006) Linkages between atmospheric circulation, climate and streamflow in the northern North Atlantic: research prospects. Prog Phys Geogr 30(2):143–174Google Scholar
  29. Mann HB (1945) Nonparametric tests against trend. Econometrica 13:245–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marin L, Birsan MV, Bojariu R, Dumitrescu A, Micu DM, Manea A (2014) An overview of annual climatic changes in Romania: trends in air temperature, precipitation, sunshine hours, cloud cover, relative humidity and wind speed during the 1961–2013 period. Carpath J Earth Environ 9(4):253–258Google Scholar
  31. Micu D (2009) Snow pack in the Romanian Carpathians under changing climatic conditions. Meteorol Atmos Phys 105:1–16. doi: 10.1007/s00703-009-0035-6 Google Scholar
  32. Nune R, George BA, Teluguntla P, Western AW (2014) Relating trends in streamflow to anthropogenic influences: a case study of himayat sagar catchment, India. Water Resour Manag 28(6):1579–1595. doi: 10.1007/s11269-014-0567-5 Google Scholar
  33. Rimbu N, Boroneant C, Buta C, Dima M (2002) Decadal variability of the Danube river flow in the lower basin and its relation with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Int J Climatol 22:1169–1179Google Scholar
  34. Rimbu N, Dima M, Lohmann G, Stefan S (2004) Impacts of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on Danube river flow variability. Geophys Res Lett 31:2–5Google Scholar
  35. Rimbu N, Stefan S, Necula C (2014) The variability of winter high temperature extremes in Romania and its relationship with large- scale atmospheric circulation. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-014-1219-7
  36. Salas JD (1993) Analysis and modeling of hydrologic time series. Chapter 19. In: Maidment DR (ed) Handbook of Hydrology, McGraw HillGoogle Scholar
  37. Stahl K, Hisdal H, Hannaford J, Tallaksen LM, van Lanen HAJ, Sauquet E, Demuth S, Fendekova M, Jódar J (2010) Streamflow trends in Europe: evidence from a dataset of near-natural catchments. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 14:2367–2382. doi: 10.5194/hess-14-2367-2010 Google Scholar
  38. Stahl K, Tallaksen LM, Hannaford J, van Lanen HAJ (2012) Filling the white space on maps of European runoff trends: estimates from a multi-model ensemble. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 16:2035–2047. doi: 10.5194/hess-16-2035-2012 Google Scholar
  39. Stanescu VA, Ungureanu V (1997) Hydrological regimes in the FRIEND-AMHY area: space variability and stability. In: FRIEND 97 – Regional Hydrology: Concepts and Models for Sustainable Water Resource Management. IAHS Publ. n° 246, pp 67–75Google Scholar
  40. Stefan S, Ghioca M, Rimbu N, Boroneant C (2004) Study of meteorological and hydrological drought in southern Romania from observational data. Int J Climatol 24(7):871–881Google Scholar
  41. Tabari H, Abghari H, Hosseinzadeh Talaee P (2013) Impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on streamflow in Western Iran. Hydrol Process. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9960 Google Scholar
  42. Tomozeiu R, Busuioc A, Stefan S (2002) Changes in seasonal mean of maximum air temperature in Romania and their connection with large-scale circulation. Int J Climatol 22(10):1181–1196Google Scholar
  43. Tomozeiu R, Stefan S, Busuioc A (2005) Winter precipitation variability and large-scale circulation patterns in Romania. Theor Appl Climatol 79:239–254. doi: 10.1007/s00704-004-0082-3 Google Scholar
  44. Trigo RM, Pozo-Vázquez D, Osborn TJ, Castro-Díez Y, Gámiz-Fortis S, Esteban-Parra MJ (2004) North Atlantic oscillation influence on precipitation, river flow and water resources in the Iberian Peninsula. Int J Climatol 24:925–944Google Scholar
  45. Vicente-Serrano S, Cuadrat J (2007) North Atlantic oscillation control of droughts in north-east Spain: evaluation since 1600 AD. Clim Chang 85:357–379Google Scholar
  46. Viviroli D, Archer DR, Buytaert W, Fowler HJ, Greenwood GB, Hamlet AF, Huang Y, Koboltschnig G, Litaor MI, López-Moreno JI, Lorentz S, Schädler B, Schreier H, Schwaiger K, Vuille M, Woods R (2011) Climate change and mountain water resources: overview and recommendations for research, management and policy. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 15:471–504. doi: 10.5194/hess-15-471-2011 Google Scholar
  47. Wanner H, Brönnimann S, Casty C, Gyalistras D, Luterbacher J, Schmutz C, Stephenson DB, Xoplaki E (2001) North Atlantic Oscillation – concepts and studies. Surv Geophys 22:321–382. doi: 10.1023/A:1014217317898 Google Scholar
  48. Zuo D, Xu Z, Wu W, Zhao J, Zhao F (2014) Identification of streamflow response to climate change and human activities in the Wei River Basin, China. Water Resour Manag 28(3):833–851. doi: 10.1007/s11269-014-0519-0 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Meteo Romania (National Meteorological Administration)BucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations