Hydrological characteristic-based methodology for dividing flood seasons: an empirical analysis from China

  • Hao Jiang
  • Zongzhi WangEmail author
  • Ailing Ye
  • Kelin Liu
  • Xiaohong Wang
  • Lihui Wang
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Climate Effects on Water Resources


A hydrological characteristic -based methodology for dividing flood seasons into sub-seasons is proposed to make full use of a reservoir’s flood control storage during the flood season via multi-stage flood-limited water levels. The proposed framework is mainly composed of three parts: the selection of indices depicting flood seasonality, the establishment of segmentation methods that can address clustering problems with high-dimensional time series and unknown numbers of clusters, and multi-scheme comparison and rationality analysis. The reasonability and validity of the proposed framework is illustrated through an empirical case study of China’s Panjiakou Reservoir basin. The results indicated that the dynamic fuzzy c-means method with clustering validity function provided more objective and quantitative divisions than other methods, including the Fisher optimal partition. The flood season of the Panjiakou Reservoir basin (June 1–September 30) is divided into three sub-seasons according to the principle of optimal clustering: a pre-flood season (June 1–July 10), a main flood season (July 11–August 20), and a post-flood season(August 21–September 30).


Floodwater utilization Flood season division Fuzzy c-means clustering Fisher optimal partition Flood-limited water level 



The authors would like to thank the Haihe River Water Conservancy Commission of Ministry of Water Resources of China for providing the original data. This study was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (no. 2017YFC0403504) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants nos. 51479119 and 51579064. The authors would also like to thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, which significantly improved the quality of this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Some of the data used in this paper are non-public and can be requested from the corresponding author via email.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Hydrology and Water ResourcesHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringNanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteNanjingChina
  3. 3.College of Civil EngineeringFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Water ResourcesChina Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower ResearchBeijingChina

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