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Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Streamflow, Sediment and Nutrient Loadings of the Minija River (Lithuania): A Hillslope Watershed Discretization Application with High-Resolution Spatial Inputs

1
Marine Research Institute, Klaipeda University, 92294 Klaipeda, Lithuania
2
ISMAR-CNR, Institute of Marine Sciences, 30122 Venezia, Italy
3
Department of Inland Water Resources and Management, Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, 34134 Istanbul, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040676
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diffuse Water Pollution )
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Abstract

In this paper we focus on the model setup scheme for medium-size watershed with high resolution, multi-site calibration, and present results on the possible changes of the Minija River in flow, sediment load, total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) load in the near-term (up to 2050) and long-term (up to 2099) in the light of climate change (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios) under business-as-usual conditions. The SWAT model for the Minija River basin was setup by using the developed Matlab (SWAT-LAB) scripts for a highly customized watershed configuration that addresses the specific needs of the project objective. We performed the watershed delineation by combining sub-basin and hillslope discretization schemes. We defined the HRUs by aggregating the topographic, land use, soil, and administrative unit features of the area. A multisite manual calibration approach was adopted to calibrate and validate the model, achieving good to satisfactory results across different sub-basins of the area for flow, sediments and nutrient loads (TP and TN). After completing the climate change scenario calculations, we found that a net decrease of flow (up to 35%), TN (up to 34%), and TP (up to 50%) loads are projected under both scenarios. Furthermore, we explored the changes in the streamflow composition and provide new insight on the reason of projected nutrient load decrease. View Full-Text
Keywords: hillslope discretization; SWAT model; water quality; Minija River watershed; climate change hillslope discretization; SWAT model; water quality; Minija River watershed; climate change
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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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Čerkasova, N.; Umgiesser, G.; Ertürk, A. Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Streamflow, Sediment and Nutrient Loadings of the Minija River (Lithuania): A Hillslope Watershed Discretization Application with High-Resolution Spatial Inputs. Water 2019, 11, 676.

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