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Madhav Bista

Flow Regime Change of the Delaware River Basin

Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Dr. David Brandes

The combined impacts of hydroclimatic change and land development/urbanization are widely expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of flooding in the northeast U.S., with potential implications to floodplain mapping, land management and flood losses. Here, we examine selected long-term streamflow records from watersheds of varying size in the upper Delaware River basin to assess whether streamflow regimes have changed. We eliminated watersheds with significant flow regulation from this study, however we retained some urbanizing watersheds. A break point analysis of the streamflow records concluded major shifts around the years 1970 and 2000. A statistical analysis comparing pre and post 2000 streamflow metrics (low, middle, and high flows) has shown a distinct change around the year 2000. For example, median flows across the two time periods were statistically different with over 90% confidence for 16 of 30 gauges considered. Other indicators of streamflow regime changes are discussed, and an interpretation of hydroclimatic and urbanization impacts on the regime shift is presented.  

About Madhav Bista:
Madhav Bista is a senor at Lafayette College graduating with a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics. He has been working as an undergraduate researcher to study and assess the changes in streamflow regimes in the past century in the US east-coast as a Lafayette College EXCEL Scholar for over a year now. In the past, Madhav has worked as a Grand Challenge Researcher focusing on nutrients management in composting and as well as assessment of Nitrogen-footprint of Lafayette College. His interests include statistical data analysis, renewable energy research, and entrepreneurship in environmental sustainability. Madhav is an active member of Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientist (SEES), Astro-particle Physics Journal Group, and Math Club at Lafayette.