- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Hydrological processes
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Human amplified changes in precipitation–runoff patterns in large river basins of the Midwestern United StatesComplete transformations of land cover from prairie, wetlands, and hardwood forests to row crop agriculture and urban centers are thought to have caused profound changes in hydrology in the Upper Midwestern US since the 1800s. In this study, we investigate four large (23 000–69 000 km2) Midwest river basins that span climate and land use gradients to understand how climate and agricultural drainage have influenced basin hydrology over the last 79 years. We use daily, monthly, and annual flow metrics to document streamflow changes and discuss those changes in the context of precipitation and land use changes. Since 1935, flow, precipitation, artificial drainage extent, and corn and soybean acreage have increased across the region. In extensively drained basins, we observe 2 to 4 fold increases in low flows and 1.5 to 3 fold increases in high and extreme flows. Using a water budget, we determined that the storage term has decreased in intensively drained and cultivated basins by 30–200 % since 1975, but increased by roughly 30 % in the less agricultural basin. Storage has generally decreased during spring and summer months and increased during fall and winter months in all watersheds. Thus, the loss of storage and enhanced hydrologic connectivity and efficiency imparted by artificialmore »
Climate studies based on global climate models (GCMs) project a steady increase in annual average temperature and severe heat extremes in central North America during the mid-century and beyond. However, the agreement of observed trends with climate model trends varies substantially across the region. The present study focuses on two different locations: Des Moines, IA and Austin, TX. In Des Moines, annual extreme temperatures have not increased over the past three decades unlike the trend of regionally-downscaled GCM data for the Midwest, likely due to a “warming hole” over the area linked to agricultural factors. This warming hole effect is not evident for Austin over the same time period, where extreme temperatures have been higher than projected by regionally-downscaled climate (RDC) forecasts. In consideration of the deviation of such RDC extreme temperature forecasts from observations, this study statistically analyzes RDC data in conjunction with observational data to define for these two cities a 95% prediction interval of heat extreme values by 2040. The statistical model is constructed using a linear combination of RDC ensemble-member annual extreme temperature forecasts with regression coefficients for individual forecasts estimated by optimizing model results against observations over a 52-year training period.
Trend Analyses of Baseflow and BFI for Undisturbed Watersheds in Michigan—Constraints from Multi-Objective OptimizationDocumenting how ground- and surface water systems respond to climate change is crucial to understanding water resources, particularly in the U.S. Great Lakes region, where drastic temperature and precipitation changes are observed. This study presents baseflow and baseflow index (BFI) trend analyses for 10 undisturbed watersheds in Michigan using (1) multi-objective optimization (MOO) and (2) modified Mann–Kendall (MK) tests corrected for short-term autocorrelation (STA). Results indicate a variability in mean baseflow (0.09–8.70 m3/s) and BFI (67.9–89.7%) that complicates regional-scale extrapolations of groundwater recharge. Long-term (>60 years) MK trend tests indicate a significant control of total precipitation (P) and snow- to rainfall transitions on baseflow and BFI. In the Lower Peninsula Rifle River watershed, increasing P and a transition from snow- to rainfall has increased baseflow at a lower rate than streamflow; an overall pattern that may contribute to documented flood frequency increases. In the Upper Peninsula Ford River watershed, decreasing P and a transition from rain- to snowfall had no significant effects on baseflow and BFI. Our results highlight the value of an objectively constrained BFI parameter for shorter-term (<50 years) hydrologic trend analysis because of a lower STA susceptibility.
Evaluation of bias correction methods for current and future RCM projections in hydrological regional applicationsRCMs produced at ~0.5° (available in the NA-CORDEX database esgf-node.ipsl.upmc.fr/search/cordex-ipsl/) address issues related to coarse resolution of GCMs (produced at 2° to 4°). Nevertheless, due to systematic and random model errors, bias correction is needed for regional study applications. However, an acceptable threshold for magnitude of bias correction that will not affect future RCM projection behavior is unknown. The goal of this study is to evaluate the implications of a bias correction technique (distribution mapping) for four GCM-RCM combinations for simulating regional precipitation and, subsequently, streamflow, surface runoff, and water yield when integrated into Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) applications for the Des Moines River basin (31,893 km²) in Iowa-Minnesota, U.S. The climate projections tested in this study are an ensemble of 2 GCMs (MPI-ESM-MR and GFDL-ESM2M) and 2 RCMs (WRF and RegCM4) for historical (1981-2005) and future (2030-2050) projections in the NA-CORDEX CMIP5 archive. The PRISM dataset was used for bias correction of GCM-RCM historical precipitation and for SWAT baseline simulations. We found bias correction improves historical total annual volumes for precipitation, seasonality, spatial distribution and mean error for all GCM-RCM combinations. However, improvement of correlation coefficient occurred only for the RegCM4 simulations. Monthly precipitation was overestimated formore »
California’s Central Valley is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. Its high-value fruit, vegetable, and nut crops rely on surface water imports from a vast network of reservoirs and canals as well as groundwater, which has been substantially overdrafted to support irrigation. The region has undergone a shift to perennial (tree and vine) crops in recent decades, which has increased water demand amid a series of severe droughts and emerging regulations on groundwater pumping. This study quantifies the expansion of perennial crops in the Tulare Lake Basin, the southern region of the Central Valley with limited natural water availability. A gridded crop type dataset is compiled on a 1 mi2spatial resolution from a historical database of pesticide permits over the period 1974–2016 and validated against aggregated county-level data. This spatial dataset is then analyzed by irrigation district, the primary spatial scale at which surface water supplies are determined, to identify trends in planting decisions and agricultural water demand over time. Perennial crop acreage has nearly tripled over this period, and currently accounts for roughly 60% of planted area and 80% of annual revenue. These trends show little relationship with water availability and have been driven primarily bymore »