Wavelet Transform Based Method for River Stream Flow Time Series Frequency Analysis and Assessment in Tropical Environment

  • Kai Lun Chong
  • Sai Hin LaiEmail author
  • Ahmed El-Shafie


The main aim of this study is to perform a time series frequency analysis and assessment for stream flow over the Johor River using a comparative method between wavelet transform (WT) and Fourier transform (FT). One of the wavelet analyses used was the discrete wavelet transform (DWT), which revealed the periodic wavelet components responsible for the trend detection. Using the FT, the periodicities that governed the trend can be obtained; however, in terms of the time domain analysis, FT seems to be lacking compared to the WT. The conditions for using DWT are discussed, and the selection decisions for such discretization are considered. Besides, using the global wavelet spectrum (GWS) and the continuous wavelet transform (CWT), the dominant periodicity components can be further well described in time frequency characteristic. In addition, the integration of the WT and Mann–Kendall (MK) test allows the determination of possible trends present in the stream flow dataset series. It is shown that the wavelet analysis is more suitable than the Fourier analysis as it exhibits good extraction of the time and frequency characteristics, especially for a nonstationary data series.


Wavelet transform Fourier transform Mann-Kendall test Trends Sequential Mann-Kendall test Spearman’ rho test 



The authors would like to appreciate so much the financial support received from the University of Malaya Research Grant (UMRG) coded RP025A-18SUS University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors here declare that we have no conflict of interest with anybody or any institution.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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