Lunar tidal influence on inland river streamflow across the conterminous United States

Randall Cerveny, Bohumil M. Svoma, Russell S. Vose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We employ a comprehensive (1900-2009) stream discharge gauge database to analyze the tidal impacts on inland streams. Our analysis reveals a strong lunar phase signal in stream gauge time series across the conterminous United States such that the largest tidal impact on inland rivers is evident at or just after the quarter moon (halfway between full and new moons). As an explanation, we examine precipitation using the Historical Climate Network precipitation dataset. Verifying early studies results, we find an equivalent well-defined lunar phase relationship with precipitation such that the largest tidal impact on precipitation generally occurs just before the quarter moon. Our results imply that inland precipitation is influenced by lunar tides and forces the lagged runoff evident in stream gauges. The lunar-induced periodicities in the stream gauge network, evident far from ocean-induced tides, may also influence flooding, as well as water management and power generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL22406
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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rivers
streamflow
gauge
lunar phases
natural satellites
Moon
lunar phase
river
tide
lunar tides
water management
tides
drainage
power generation
periodicity
climate
periodic variations
oceans
flooding
time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Lunar tidal influence on inland river streamflow across the conterminous United States. / Cerveny, Randall; Svoma, Bohumil M.; Vose, Russell S.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, No. 22, L22406, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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