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Water 2018, 10(7), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070932

Modelling the Effects of Historical and Future Land Cover Changes on the Hydrology of an Amazonian Basin

1
Remote Sensing Division, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas 1758, 12227-010 São José dos Campos, Brazil
2
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC), University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4, Canada
3
Spectral Lab, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8L 2P6, Canada
4
Laboratoire Identités et Différenciations de l’Environnement des Espaces et des Sociétés (IDEES CAEN-UMR CNRS 6266), Université de Caen Normandie, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
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Abstract

Land cover changes (LCC) affect the water balance (WB), changing surface runoff (SurfQ), evapotranspiration (ET), groundwater (GW) regimes, and streamflow (Q). The Tapajós Basin (southeastern Amazon) has experienced LCC over the last 40 years, with increasing LCC rates projected for the near future. Several studies have addressed the effects of climate changes on the region’s hydrology, but few have explored the effects of LCC on its hydrological regime. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to model the LCC effects on the hydrology of the Upper Crepori River Basin (medium Tapajós Basin), using historical and projected LCC based on conservation policies (GOV_2050) and on the “Business as Usual” trend (BAU_2050). LCC that occurred from 1973 to 2012, increased Q by 2.5%, without noticeably altering the average annual WB. The future GOV_2050 and BAU_2050 scenarios increased SurfQ by 238.87% and 300.90%, and Q by 2.53% and 2.97%, respectively, and reduced GW by 4.00% and 5.21%, and ET by 2.07% and 2.43%, respectively. Results suggest that the increase in deforestation will intensify floods and low-flow events, and that the conservation policies considered in the GOV_2050 scenario may still compromise the region’s hydrology at a comparable level to that of the BAU_2050. View Full-Text
Keywords: water balance; land cover change; Amazon; hydrological modelling; water resources water balance; land cover change; Amazon; hydrological modelling; water resources
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Abe, C.A.; Lobo, F.L.; Dibike, Y.B.; Costa, M.P.F.; Dos Santos, V.; Novo, E.M.L.M. Modelling the Effects of Historical and Future Land Cover Changes on the Hydrology of an Amazonian Basin. Water 2018, 10, 932.

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