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Droughts, Pluvials, and Wet Season Timing across the Chao Phraya River Basin: a 254-Year Monthly Reconstruction from Tree Rings and δ18O
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  • Hung T.T Nguyen,
  • Stefano Galelli,
  • Chenxi Xu,
  • Brendan Martin Buckley
Hung T.T Nguyen
Columbia University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Stefano Galelli
Singapore University of Technology and Design
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Chenxi Xu
Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Brendan Martin Buckley
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Water system operations require subannual streamflow data—e.g., monthly or weekly—that are not readily achievable with conventional streamflow reconstructions from annual tree rings. This mismatch is particularly relevant to highly seasonal rivers such as Thailand’s Chao Phraya. Here, we combine tree ring width and oxygen isotope (δ18O) from Southeast Asia to produce 254-year, monthly-resolved reconstructions for all four major tributaries of the Chao Phraya. From the reconstructions, we derive subannual streamflow indices to examine past hydrological droughts and pluvials, and find coherence and heterogeneity in their histories. The monthly resolution reveals the spatiotemporal variability in wet season timing, caused by interactions between early summer typhoons, monsoon rains, catchment location, and topography. Monthly-resolved reconstructions, like the ones presented here, not only broaden our understanding of past hydroclimatic variability, but also provide data that are functional to water management and climate-risk analyses, a significant improvement over annual reconstructions.