On the use of mean monthly runoff to predict the flow–duration curve in ungauged catchments
We examine the applicability of predicting the daily flow–duration curve (FDC) using mean monthly runoff represented in its stochastic form (MM_FDC) to aid in predictions in ungauged basins, using long-term hydroclimatic data at 73 catchments of humid climate, in the eastern USA. The analysis uses soil hydrological properties, soil moisture storage capacity and the predominant runoff generation mechanism. The results show that MM_FDC did not distinguish the shapes of the upper and lower thirds of the FDC. The upper third is where the precipitation pattern and the antecedent moisture conditions are dominant, while the lower third is where drought-induced low flows and the evapotranspiration effect are prevalent. It is possible to use the MM_FDC to predict the middle third of the FDC (exceedence probabilities between 33% and 66%). The method is constrained by the catchment flow variability (slope of FDC), which changes in accordance with landscape properties and the predominant runoff generation mechanism.