Comparative study of statistical methods to identify a predictor for discharge at Orsova in the Lower Danube Basin

The aims of this study are to investigate the influence of large-scale atmospheric circulation quantified by indices such as the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAOI), the Greenland-Balkan Oscillation index (GBOI) and blocking-type indices on the Lower Danube discharge. We separately analysed each season for the 1948–2000 period. In addition to the statistical linear procedure, we applied methods to quantify nonlinear connections between variables, as mutual information between predictors and predictand, using Shannon’s information entropy theory. The nonlinear correlation information between climate indices and discharge is higher than that obtained from the linear measure, providing more insight into real connections. Also, the non-stationarity of the link between variables is highlighted by spectral coherence based on wavelet analysis. For the physical interpretation, we analyse composite maps over the Atlantic-European region. The most significant influence on the discharge of the Lower Danube Basin is given by the GBOI and blocking-type atmospheric circulation over Europe.