The River Memory Experiment

The River Memory experiment is a new form of cooperative research, according to the philosophy and scope of Switch-On FP7 Research Project, funded by the European Commission. The aim of the experiment is to promote cooperation among researchers to analyse the dynamics of river flows across a range of catchment scales.

Research questions

  • How long a river remembers its past?
  • Higher than usual flows in the low flow season might anticipate extreme events in the next high flow season?

The experiment is technically relevant, as it inspects the opportunity to update the flood frequency distribution for a given river basing on river flow observations in the pre-flood season.

More details are given in my presentation at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting which will be available for download through a link that I will put here on Dec 18, 2015. Please come back
tomorrow to download it!

Interested in getting involved and writing a joint paper?

If you have a time series of daily or subdaily river flow data for a given river, with an observation period of at least 50 years and you have permission to make it available on the web, you are welcome to participate to the experiment. If the results will justify the publication of a scientific paper, all the contributors will be involved as co-authors.

River memory Instructions to participate

Please put the river flow data into a text file in one single column. Please include the following information in the first 6 lines of the files:
  1. nameriver and nameclosure (Country)
  2. Coordinates of the closure section
  3. Catchment area (with units)
  4. Start date time of the time series
  5. End date of the time series
  6. Whether February 29ths are already removed
  7. Months of the flood season
  8. The time step

Please download an example file here

Then, please email the file to me. I will email you back a pdf document with results of the analysis of the time series.

Download the R code

The R code I am using for performing the computation can be downloaded here. It may be useful for you to self compute the results. It needs to read the above data file in the directory where R is launched and produces a graph in pdf format in the same directory. It will updated later on to produce a more extended output.

Please join us!! This wants to be an opportunity for cooperative gaining of innovative research understanding!
Alberto