Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 835–855 | Cite as

Impacts of baseflow contribution on the streamflow variability of major river systems in Korea

  • Jeongho Han
  • Jonggun Kim
  • Kyoungjae Lim
  • Younghun JungEmail author


High streamflow variability is a potential risk factor in river management in Korea because the use of water resources in Korea depends primarily on surface water. In this regard, analysis of streamflow variability is critical for efficient water resources management. Because streamflow variability is mainly influenced by the contributions of direct runoff and baseflow, the relationship between baseflow and streamflow is an important hydrological indicator that reflects river characteristics. Accordingly, this study was conducted to estimate the effect of baseflow on streamflow variability. For this purpose, a number of streamflow variability indices (SVIs), such as the Richard–Baker flashiness index, the coefficient of variation, the ratio of high flow to low flow (Q5:Q95), and the coefficient of flow regime, were calculated for Korea’s major river systems to determine which SVI best reflects the characteristics of Korean rivers. In addition, baseflow separation was performed to calculate the relationship between SVIs and the baseflow index. The results of this study show that the baseflow index is inversely proportional to streamflow variability. In particular, the impact of baseflow on streamflow variability was highest in the Yeongsan–Sumjin River system. These results are valuable information expected to be used in river management to better secure water resources.


Baseflow contribution Baseflow index Streamflow variability Baseflow separation Streamflow variability index 



This research was supported by “Environmental Basic Research Program, Hanriver watershed management committee”.


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Regional Infrastructure EngineeringKangwon National UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Institute of Agriculture and Life ScienceKangwon National UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Construction and Disaster Prevention EngineeringKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea

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