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Abstract

Improved hydrological model parametrization for climate change impact assessment under data scarcity—The potential of field monitoring techniques and geostatistics

According to current climate projections, Mediterranean countries are at high risk for an even pronounced susceptibility to changes in the hydrological budget and extremes. These changes are expected to have severe direct impacts on the management of water resources, agricultural productivity and drinking water supply. Current projections of future hydrological change, based on regional climate model results and subsequent hydrological modeling schemes, are very uncertain and poorly validated. The Rio Mannu di San Sperate Basin, located in Sardinia, Italy, is one test site of the CLIMB project. The Water Simulation Model (WaSiM) was set up to model current and future hydrological conditions. The availability of measured meteorological and hydrological data is poor as it is common for many Mediterranean catchments. In this study we conducted a soil sampling campaign in the Rio Mannu catchment. We tested different deterministic and hybrid geostatistical interpolation methods on soil textures and tested the performance of the applied models. We calculated a new soil texture map based on the best prediction method. The soil model in WaSiM was set up with the improved new soil information. The simulation results were compared to standard soil parametrization. WaSiMs was validated with spatial evapotranspiration rates using the triangle method (Jiang and Islam, 1999). WaSiM was driven with the meteorological forcing taken from 4 different ENSEMBLES climate projections for a reference (1971–2000) and a future (2041–2070) times series. The climate change impact was assessed based on differences between reference and future time series. The simulated results show a reduction of all hydrological quantities in the future in the spring season. Furthermore simulation results reveal an earlier onset of dry conditions in the catchment. We show that a solid soil model setup based on short-term field measurements can improve long-term modeling results, which is especially important in ungauged catchments.



Meyer, S.; Blaschek, M.; Duttmann, R.; Ludwig, R. 2016. Improved hydrological model parametrization for climate change impact assessment under data scarcity—The potential of field monitoring techniques and geostatistics. Science of the Total Environment, 543, 906-923.

doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.116