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Special Issue "Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Martijn J. Booij

University of Twente, the Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 53 4892564
Interests: hydrology; hydrological modelling; climate change impacts; water resources; uncertainty analysis
Guest Editor
Prof. Yue-Ping Xu

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
E-Mail
Phone: +8657188981608
Interests: uncertainty analysis in hydro-systems; hydrological modelling under uncertainty and nonstationarity; climate change impacts; hydrological extreme analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleages,

Climate change, land use change and other environmental changes may have large impacts on catchment hydrology and water resources around the world. Water availability, drought occurrence, peak discharges and flood volumes will be affected by these changes, with implications for human beings, biodiversity, economy and society. Mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent or reduce negative consequences heavily rely on environmental change impact assessments. Hydrological models are an important tool in this process and often used to assess effects of environmental changes on past and future hydrological behaviour. This Special Issue focuses on the evaluation of hydrological models to assess the impacts of environmental changes on hydrological processes for past and future conditions. Environmental and human-induced changes of interest are for instance climate change, deforestation, mining, hydraulic structures, urbanisation and changes in drainage networks. Hydrological processes include surface runoff, groundwater flow, glacier and snow melt, permafrost degradation and infiltration. A key issue to be addressed is the question whether hydrological models can provide the right environmental impact assesments for the right reasons. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • attribution of hydrological changes to environmental changes using modelling and data-based approaches;
  • calibration and validation of hydrological models focusing on different runoff components;
  • evaluation of hydrological models in simulating impacts of past land use changes;
  • evaluation of hydrological models for historic climate changes;
  • use of in-situ and satellite data for model evaluation under environmental changes;
  • dynamic model parameterizations and model structures to enhance model performance under changes;
  • sensitivity and uncertainty analyses under environmental changes;
  • smart use of impacts of future environmental changes for hydrological model evaluation.

Dr. Martijn J. Booij
Prof. Yue-Ping Xu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • land use change
  • hydrological model
  • runoff processes
  • model evaluation
  • uncertainty

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Capacity of the Hydrological Modeling for Water Resource Assessment under the Changing Environment in Semi-Arid River Basins in China
Water 2019, 11(7), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071328
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
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Abstract
Conducting water resource assessment and forecasting at a basin scale requires effective and accurate simulation of the hydrological process. However, intensive, complex human activities and environmental changes are constraining and challenging the hydrological modeling development and application by complicating the hydrological cycle within [...] Read more.
Conducting water resource assessment and forecasting at a basin scale requires effective and accurate simulation of the hydrological process. However, intensive, complex human activities and environmental changes are constraining and challenging the hydrological modeling development and application by complicating the hydrological cycle within its local contexts. Six sub-catchments of the Yellow River basin, the second-largest river in China, situated in a semi-arid climate zone, have been selected for this study, considering hydrological processes under a natural period (before 1970) and under intensive human disturbance (2000–2013). The study aims to assess the capacity and performance of the hydrological models in simulating the discharge under a changing environment. Four well-documented and applied hydrological models, i.e., the Xin’anjiang (XAJ) model, GR4J model, SIMHYD model, and RCCC-WBM (Water Balance Model developed by Research Center for Climate Change) model, were selected for this assessment. The results show that (1) the annual areal temperature of all sub-catchments presented a significant rising trend, and annual precipitation exhibited insignificant decline trend; (2) as a result of climate change and intensive human activities, the annual runoff series showed a declining trend with abrupt changes mostly occurring in the 1980s with the exception of the Tangnaihai station; (3) the four hydrological models generally performed well for runoff simulation for all sub-catchments under the natural period. In terms of Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient, the XAJ model worked better in comparison to other hydrological models due to its detailed representations and complicated mechanism in runoff generation and flow-routing scheme; (4) environmental changes have impacted the performance of the four hydrological models under all sub-catchments, in particularly the Pianguan River catchment, which is could be attributed to the various human activities that in turn represent more complexity for the regional hydrological cycle to some extent, and reduce the ability to predict the runoff series; (5) the RCCC-WBM model, well known for its simple structure and principles, is considered to be acceptable for runoff simulation for both natural and human disturbance periods, and is recommended for water resource assessment under changing environments for semi-arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
A Combined Method for Estimating Continuous Runoff by Parameter Transfer and Drainage Area Ratio Method in Ungauged Catchments
Water 2019, 11(5), 1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051104
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
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Abstract
Continuous runoff needs to be estimated in ungauged catchments to interpret hydrological phenomena and manage water resources. Researchers have used various methods to estimate runoff in ungauged catchments, but few combined different methods to improve the estimation. A model parameter-based method named the [...] Read more.
Continuous runoff needs to be estimated in ungauged catchments to interpret hydrological phenomena and manage water resources. Researchers have used various methods to estimate runoff in ungauged catchments, but few combined different methods to improve the estimation. A model parameter-based method named the parameter transfer (PT) method and a flow-based method of area ratio (AR) were combined and tested in eight catchments in a lake basin. The performance of the PT method depended on the model simulation and donors, which were related to physical and climate characteristics of the catchments. Two AR methods were compared and the results showed that the standard AR method was suitable in this study area with the area ratio between donor and target ranging from 0.46 to 1.41. ENS and R2 values suggested that the PT method used in this study showed a better result than the AR method in 75% of the considered sites, but the total runoff deviation was lower for the standard AR method than that for the PT method. We used the standard AR method weighted by the PT method, and compared three versions weighted with daily, monthly, and average ENS values of the PT and AR methods and one unweighted version. The results of the combined methods were promising. The version weighted with daily ENS performed best and gave improved R2 and daily ENS values for 75% of the receivers. The unweighted combined method performed stable in all sites. The combined method gave better simulation of daily and monthly continuous runoff in ungauged catchments than each individual method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Attributing Changes in Streamflow to Land Use and Climate Change for 472 Catchments in Australia and the United States
Water 2019, 11(5), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051059
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
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Abstract
A data-based method to distinguish climate and land use change impacts on streamflow has been previously developed and needs further evaluation through a large sample study. This study aims to apply the method to a large sample set of 472 catchments in the [...] Read more.
A data-based method to distinguish climate and land use change impacts on streamflow has been previously developed and needs further evaluation through a large sample study. This study aims to apply the method to a large sample set of 472 catchments in the United States and Australia. The method calculates the water and energy budget of a catchment which can be translated to climate and land use induced changes in streamflow between two periods: a pre-change and post-change period. Several geographical characteristics (e.g., aridity index, average catchment slope, historical land use) were considered for the interpretation of the results. The results show that in general as expected, an increase of the annual discharge is caused by deforestation and a wetter climate, and a decrease of the annual discharge is caused by afforestation and a drier climate. In addition, changes in streamflow of American catchments are likely caused by a wetter climate, while changes in streamflow of Australian catchments are caused by a wetter or drier climate. It can be concluded that the method performs reasonably well and that the results are best explained by the location of the catchment, the aridity index and historical land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Three Gorges Dam on Downstream Low Flow
Water 2019, 11(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010065
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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Abstract
Low flow is a seasonal phenomenon which is a critical requirement for utilization of water resources under rapidly changing environmental conditions. The operation of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) has had a great influence on downstream low flow in the Yangtze River. In [...] Read more.
Low flow is a seasonal phenomenon which is a critical requirement for utilization of water resources under rapidly changing environmental conditions. The operation of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) has had a great influence on downstream low flow in the Yangtze River. In this paper, the characteristics of low flow in the main Yangtze River were analyzed during the dry season before and after the TGD operation during the period of 1956–2016. The results show that: (1) the operation of the TGD has changed the spatial and temporal distribution of streamflow in the middle and lower Yangtze River and the annual mean low flow has increased significantly since the TGD operation. (2) The operation of the TGD could advance the date of the start of dry season in the lower Yangtze River basin. The start dates of the dry season in the Yichang, Hankou and Datong stations were advanced by 14 days, 10 days and 9 days, respectively. (3) The minimum streamflow in the lower Yangtze River has increased notably since the TGD operation. The minimum streamflow was raised by 42.91%, 13.76% and 6.06% at the Yichang, Hankou and Datong stations, respectively. The increasing number of dams in the world might have the potential effects on downstream low flow. More attention should be paid to investigating the influence of dam construction on low flow in rivers all over the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Simulation and Runoff Component Analysis over a Cold Mountainous River Basin in Southwest China
Water 2018, 10(11), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111705
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3633 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessment of water resources from mountainous catchments is crucial for the development of upstream rural areas and downstream urban communities. However, lack of data in these mountainous catchments prevents full understanding of the response of hydrology or water resources to climate change. Meanwhile, [...] Read more.
Assessment of water resources from mountainous catchments is crucial for the development of upstream rural areas and downstream urban communities. However, lack of data in these mountainous catchments prevents full understanding of the response of hydrology or water resources to climate change. Meanwhile, hydrological modeling is challenging due to parameter uncertainty. In this work, one tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin (the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River) was used as a case study for hydrological modeling. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM 3B42V7) data were utilized as a substitute for gauge-based rainfall data, and the capability of simulating precipitation, snow, and groundwater contributions to total runoff by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was investigated. The uncertainty in runoff proportions from precipitation, snowmelt, and groundwater was quantified by a batch-processing module. Hydrological signatures were finally used to help identify if the hydrological model simulated total runoff and corresponding proportions properly. The results showed that: (1) TRMM data were very useful for hydrological simulation in high and cold mountainous catchments; (2) precipitation was the primary contributor nearly all year round, reaching 56.5% of the total runoff on average; (3) groundwater occupied the biggest proportion during dry seasons, whereas snowmelt made a substantial contribution only in late spring and summer; and (4) hydrological signatures were useful for helping to evaluate the performance of the hydrological model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Variation Analysis of Streamflows from 1956 to 2016 Along the Yellow River, China
Water 2018, 10(9), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091231
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the change of climate and the impacts of human activities, the water resources crisis of the Yellow River is becoming increasingly serious. How and why did the streamflows of the Yellow River basin change? Based on observed annual runoff data (1956–2016) of [...] Read more.
With the change of climate and the impacts of human activities, the water resources crisis of the Yellow River is becoming increasingly serious. How and why did the streamflows of the Yellow River basin change? Based on observed annual runoff data (1956–2016) of 10 main hydrological stations along the Yellow River, the linear regression method, the Spearman rank correlation method and the Mann-Kendall test method are used to analyze runoff trend. The orderly clustering method, the sliding t test method and the Lee-Heghinian Method are used to identify the abrupt change point. Finally, the wavelet analysis method is used to identify runoff time series period. The results show that: (1) With the exception of the streamflow of Tangnaihai, the streamflows of all examined stations have significantly declining trends. The decrease of the streamflow from the upper to the middle to the lower reaches is becoming more and more obvious; (2) The runoff of the Yellow River has changed greatly. The abrupt change point at Tangnaihai occurred in 1989. The abrupt change points of the other stations took place in 1985; (3) The runoff along the Yellow River presents multi-time scale changes. The streamflows appear to have strongest periods of 25–40 years with a 40-year scale, which indicate the alternate oscillations of the high and the low water periods. The periods of <6 and 7–24 years are not stable and are complicated. The first main period of runoff in the Yellow River is 30 years; (4) The streamflow upstream of Tangnaihai station is mainly affected by the climate. The streamflows downstream of Tangnaihai station are influenced by human activities, especially water extraction and diversion and the operations of the large reservoirs. These research results have important practical guiding significance for hydrological forecasting, evaluation and management of water resources, construction of water conservancy projects and sustainable utilization of water resources in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Intensity and Persistence of Soil Water Repellency in Pine Forest Soil in a Temperate Continental Climate under Drought Conditions
Water 2018, 10(9), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091121
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 28 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although soil water repellency (SWR) has been reported under different soils, climates, and vegetation types of the world, especially in forest land and following wildfires, the understanding of this variable continues to be rather limited. This study presented the characterization of SWR from [...] Read more.
Although soil water repellency (SWR) has been reported under different soils, climates, and vegetation types of the world, especially in forest land and following wildfires, the understanding of this variable continues to be rather limited. This study presented the characterization of SWR from wild fire measurements in a Scots pine Peucedano-Pinetum forest in the Kampinos National Park (central Poland), which is characterized by a temperate continental climate. The main objectives were: [i] To evaluate the potential occurrence, intensity, and persistence of soil water repellency in the surface layers of podzolized rusty soils during a dry summer; [ii] to determine whether a wildfire increased SWR, compared to the unburnt condition of soil; and [iii] to identify changes in hydrophobicity 13 months after a fire. The Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) test was used to assess persistence and intensity of soil SWR. Hydrophobicity is a natural phenomenon during periods of drought in temperate continental climates. The extreme class of SWR was observed in surface layers of up to 20 cm. A higher hydrophobicity was noted in the older habitats of the Peucedano-Pinetum forest. Maximum WDPT values (10,800 s) were found for an older ecosystem cover, during a dry summer. SWR in fire-affected soils is dependent on the intensity of the fire, as well as displaying spatial and seasonal variability. Thirteen months after a fire, the highest variability in the occurrence of non-wettability, was recorded in the surface layers of areas affected by a weak fire. A positive relationship between soil pH and WDPT values was determined to a 20 cm depth. Prolonged dry periods resulting from global climate change, may enhance the effects of increasing SWR; it therefore seems reasonable for future research on biosphere–climate interactions, to take the presence of hydrophobicity into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Mixed Distribution Model Considering Historical Extraordinary Floods under Changing Environment
Water 2018, 10(8), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081016
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2850 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Historical extraordinary floods are an important factor in non-stationary flood frequency analysis and they may occur at any time, regardless of whether the environment is changing or not. Based on mixed distribution (MD) modeling, this paper proposed an improved mixed distribution (IMD) model [...] Read more.
Historical extraordinary floods are an important factor in non-stationary flood frequency analysis and they may occur at any time, regardless of whether the environment is changing or not. Based on mixed distribution (MD) modeling, this paper proposed an improved mixed distribution (IMD) model to consider the discontinuity and non-stationarity of flood samples simultaneously, which adds historical extraordinary floods in both sub-series divided by a change point. As a case study, the annual maximum peak discharge and volume series of Ankang hydrological station, located in the upper Hanjiang River Basin of China, were selected to identify non-stationarity by using the variation diagnosis system. MD and IMD were used to fit the flood characteristic series and a genetic algorithm was employed to estimate the optimal parameters. Compared with the design flood values fitted by the stationary Pearson type-III distribution, the results computed by IMD decreased at low return periods and increased at high return periods, with the difference varying from −6.67% to 7.19%. The results highlighted that although the design flood values of IMD are slightly larger than those of MD with different return periods, IMD provided a better result than MD. IMD provides a new perspective for non-stationary flood frequency analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Processes under Environmental Change)
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