Physically-based distributed modelling of the hydrology and soil erosion under changes in landuse and climate of a humid tropical river basin

S. Sreedevi, T. I. Eldho*, T Jayasankar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of landuse/landcover (LULC) and climate change on hydrology and soil erosion processes are of major concern, especially in the humid tropics. In this study, an evaluation of these changes is performed in a humid tropical catchment (Vamanapuram river basin, India) using a physically based distributed model, SHETRAN. The past landuse maps and climate data from six fine resolution NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP) are used to force the SHETRAN model. A comparison of the change in the rate of soil erosion and hydrological responses during the future climate scenarios (near: 2021–2050 and far: 2071–2100) with respect to the historical period (1980–2005) is conducted.

The isolated effects of landuse, climate variability and the combined effect caused change in streamflow (1.1%, 7.9%, 9.0% respectively) and sediment load (−10.4%, 1.7%, −10.5% respectively) in the past. An ensemble mean of general circulation model (GCM) projections showed that mean temperature and average annual precipitation under representative concentration pathway RCP 4.5 (8.5) scenarios for near and far futures increased from the historic period by 0.51 °C (1.6 °C), 0.6 °C (3.2 °C) and by 9% (6%), 15% (22.8%), respectively. Under RCP4.5(8.5), the average annual streamflow increased gradually from the near to far future, by 3.2% (−1.8%) and 13.6 % (22.1%) whereas, the projected sediment load a showed change of −21.05% (−26.63%) in near future while far future indicated change by −11% (4%). The SHETRAN model has been found to be effective in evaluating climate change impacts on hydrology and sediment yield and is useful for future river basin management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106427
JournalCatena
Volume217
Early online date8 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2022

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