Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 1245–1264 | Cite as

Application and comparison of coaxial correlation diagram and hydrological model for reconstructing flood series under human disturbance

  • Peng-nian Huang
  • Zhi-jia Li
  • Qiao-ling Li
  • Ke Zhang
  • Han-chen Zhang


Intense human activities have greatly changed the flood generation conditions in most areas of the world, and have destroyed the consistency in the annual flood peak and volume series. For design flood estimation, coaxial correlation diagram and conceptual hydrological model are two frequently used tools to adjust and reconstruct the flood series under human disturbance. This study took a typical mountain catchment of the Haihe River Basin as an example to investigate the effects of human activities on flood regime and to compare and assess the two adjustment methods. The main purpose is to construct a conceptual hydrological model which can incorporate the effects of human activities. The results show that the coaxial correlation diagram is simple and widely-used, but can only adjust the time series of total flood volumes. Therefore, it is only applicable under certain conditions (e.g. There is a strong link between the flood peaks and volumes and the link is not significantly affected by human activities). The conceptual model is a powerful tool to adjust the time series of both flood peak flows and flood volumes over different durations provided that it is closely related to the catchment hydrological characteristics, specifically accounting for the effects of human activities, and incorporating expert knowledge when estimating or calibrating parameters. It is suggested that the two methods should be used together to cross check each other.


Flood regime change Human activities Coaxial correlation diagram Conceptual hydrological model Mountain catchment Flood peak flows 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng-nian Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhi-jia Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiao-ling Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ke Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Han-chen Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Hydrology and Water ResourcesHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.National Cooperative Innovation Center for Water Safety & Hydro-ScienceHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Cooperative Institute for Mescoscale Meteorological StudiesUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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