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Techniques and Methods 4–A9

Groundwater Resources Program

HydroClimATe—Hydrologic and Climatic Analysis Toolkit

By Jesse E. Dickinson, Randall T. Hanson, and Steven K. Predmore

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.8 MB)Abstract

The potential consequences of climate variability and climate change have been identified as major issues for the sustainability and availability of the worldwide water resources. Unlike global climate change, climate variability represents deviations from the long-term state of the climate over periods of a few years to several decades. Currently, rich hydrologic time-series data are available, but the combination of data preparation and statistical methods developed by the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the Groundwater Resources Program is relatively unavailable to hydrologists and engineers who could benefit from estimates of climate variability and its effects on periodic recharge and water-resource availability. This report documents HydroClimATe, a computer program for assessing the relations between variable climatic and hydrologic time-series data. HydroClimATe was developed for a Windows operating system. The software includes statistical tools for (1) time-series preprocessing, (2) spectral analysis, (3) spatial and temporal analysis, (4) correlation analysis, and (5) projections. The time-series preprocessing tools include spline fitting, standardization using a normal or gamma distribution, and transformation by a cumulative departure. The spectral analysis tools include discrete Fourier transform, maximum entropy method, and singular spectrum analysis. The spatial and temporal analysis tool is empirical orthogonal function analysis. The correlation analysis tools are linear regression and lag correlation. The projection tools include autoregressive time-series modeling and generation of many realizations. These tools are demonstrated in four examples that use stream-flow discharge data, groundwater-level records, gridded time series of precipitation data, and the Multivariate ENSO Index.

First posted March 17, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, California Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
6000 J Street, Placer Hall
Sacramento, California 95819

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Suggested citation:

Dickinson, J.E., Hanson, R.T., and Predmore, S.K., 2014, HydroClimATe—Hydrologic and climatic analysis toolkit: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 4–A9, 49 p,

ISSN (online) 2328-7055




User Interface

Data Requirements

Importing Data and Exporting Data

Describe Data

Preprocess Data


Fourier Analysis

Maximum Entropy Method

Singular Spectrum Analysis

Empirical Orthogonal Function Analysis

Linear Regression And Correlation



Evaluation of Coded Procedures


References Cited


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