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Water 2016, 8(10), 432; doi:10.3390/w8100432

Characterizing Changes in Streamflow and Sediment Supply in the Sacramento River Basin, California, Using Hydrological Simulation Program—FORTRAN (HSPF)

1
California Water Science Center, United States Geological Survey, Sacramento, CA 95819, USA
2
Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory, United States Geological Survey, Golden, CO 80403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xuan Yu
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hillslope and Watershed Hydrology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4492 KB, uploaded 30 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

A daily watershed model of the Sacramento River Basin of northern California was developed to simulate streamflow and suspended sediment transport to the San Francisco Bay-Delta. To compensate for sparse data, a unique combination of model inputs was developed, including meteorological variables, potential evapotranspiration, and parameters defining hydraulic geometry. A slight decreasing trend of sediment loads and concentrations was statistically significant in the lowest 50% of flows, supporting the observed historical sediment decline. Historical changes in climate, including seasonality and decline of snowpack, contribute to changes in streamflow, and are a significant component describing the mechanisms responsible for the decline in sediment. Several wet and dry hypothetical climate change scenarios with temperature changes of 1.5 °C and 4.5 °C were applied to the base historical conditions to assess the model sensitivity of streamflow and sediment to changes in climate. Of the scenarios evaluated, sediment discharge for the Sacramento River Basin increased the most with increased storm magnitude and frequency and decreased the most with increases in air temperature, regardless of changes in precipitation. The model will be used to develop projections of potential hydrologic and sediment trends to the Bay-Delta in response to potential future climate scenarios, which will help assess the hydrological and ecological health of the Bay-Delta into the next century. View Full-Text
Keywords: HSPF; watershed hydrology; suspended sediment; hydrologic modeling; water resources; San Francisco Bay-Delta; Sacramento River; sediment transport HSPF; watershed hydrology; suspended sediment; hydrologic modeling; water resources; San Francisco Bay-Delta; Sacramento River; sediment transport
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Stern, M.; Flint, L.; Minear, J.; Flint, A.; Wright, S. Characterizing Changes in Streamflow and Sediment Supply in the Sacramento River Basin, California, Using Hydrological Simulation Program—FORTRAN (HSPF). Water 2016, 8, 432.

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