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Water 2017, 9(10), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100767

An Integrated Modelling System to Predict Hydrological Processes under Climate and Land-Use/Cover Change Scenarios

1
Department of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Alberta Environment and Parks, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
3
Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, Global Institute for Water Security, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E8, Canada
4
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, 116 St. and 85 Ave., Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
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Abstract

This study proposes an integrated modeling system consisting of the physically-based MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 model, a cellular automata model, and general circulation models (GCMs) scenarios to investigate the independent and combined effects of future climate and land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes on the hydrology of a river system. The integrated modelling system is applied to the Elbow River watershed in southern Alberta, Canada in conjunction with extreme GCM scenarios and two LULC change scenarios in the 2020s and 2050s. Results reveal that LULC change substantially modifies the river flow regime in the east sub-catchment, where rapid urbanization is occurring. It is also shown that the change in LULC causes an increase in peak flows in both the 2020s and 2050s. The impacts of climate and LULC change on streamflow are positively correlated in winter and spring, which intensifies their influence and leads to a significant rise in streamflow, and, subsequently, increases the vulnerability of the watershed to spring floods. This study highlights the importance of using an integrated modeling approach to investigate both the independent and combined impacts of climate and LULC changes on the future of hydrology to improve our understanding of how watersheds will respond to climate and LULC changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrology; climate change; hydrological modeling; cellular automata; land-use change; MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 hydrology; climate change; hydrological modeling; cellular automata; land-use change; MIKE SHE/MIKE 11
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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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Farjad, B.; Gupta, A.; Razavi, S.; Faramarzi, M.; Marceau, D.J. An Integrated Modelling System to Predict Hydrological Processes under Climate and Land-Use/Cover Change Scenarios. Water 2017, 9, 767.

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