Matching Items (3)

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Distributed hydrologic modeling of a sparsely monitored basin in Sardinia, Italy, through hydrometeorological downscaling

Description

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as well as the sparseness of hydrometeorological observations. In this work, we present a strategy to calibrate a distributed hydrologic model, known as TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS), in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), a medium-sized watershed (472.5 km[superscript 2]) located in an agricultural area in Sardinia, Italy. In the RMB, precipitation, streamflow and meteorological data were collected within different historical periods and at diverse temporal resolutions. We designed two statistical tools for downscaling precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data to create the hourly, high-resolution forcing for the hydrologic model from daily records. Despite the presence of several sources of uncertainty in the observations and model parameterization, the use of the disaggregated forcing led to good calibration and validation performances for the tRIBS model, when daily discharge observations were available. The methodology proposed here can be also used to disaggregate outputs of climate models and conduct high-resolution hydrologic simulations with the goal of quantifying the impacts of climate change on water resources and the frequency of hydrologic extremes within medium-sized basins.

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  • 2013-10-24

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Quantification of hydrologic impacts of climate change in a Mediterranean basin in Sardinia, Italy, through high-resolution simulations

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Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect

Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect the hydrologic regime, with a limitation of water availability and an intensification of hydrologic extremes, and to negatively impact local economies. In this study, we quantify the hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), an agricultural watershed of 472.5 km[superscript 2] in Sardinia, Italy. To simulate the wide range of runoff generation mechanisms typical of Mediterranean basins, we adopted a physically based, distributed hydrologic model. The high-resolution forcings in reference and future conditions (30-year records for each period) were provided by four combinations of global and regional climate models, bias-corrected and downscaled in space and time (from ~25 km, 24 h to 5 km, 1 h) through statistical tools. The analysis of the hydrologic model outputs indicates that the RMB is expected to be severely impacted by future climate change. The range of simulations consistently predict (i) a significant diminution of mean annual runoff at the basin outlet, mainly due to a decreasing contribution of the runoff generation mechanisms depending on water available in the soil; (ii) modest variations in mean annual runoff and intensification of mean annual discharge maxima in flatter sub-basins with clay and loamy soils, likely due to a higher occurrence of infiltration excess runoff; (iii) reduction of soil water content and actual evapotranspiration in most areas of the basin; and (iv) a drop in the groundwater table. Results of this study are useful to support the adoption of adaptive strategies for management and planning of agricultural activities and water resources in the region.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12-15

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On the nature of rainfall intermittency as revealed by different metrics and sampling approaches

Description

A general consensus on the concept of rainfall intermittency has not yet been reached, and intermittency is often attributed to different aspects of rainfall variability, including the fragmentation of the

A general consensus on the concept of rainfall intermittency has not yet been reached, and intermittency is often attributed to different aspects of rainfall variability, including the fragmentation of the rainfall support (i.e., the alternation of wet and dry intervals) and the strength of intensity fluctuations and bursts. To explore these different aspects, a systematic analysis of rainfall intermittency properties in the time domain is presented using high-resolution (1-min) data recorded by a network of 201 tipping-bucket gauges covering the entire island of Sardinia (Italy). Four techniques, including spectral and scale invariance analysis, and computation of clustering and intermittency exponents, are applied to quantify the contribution of the alternation of dry and wet intervals (i.e., the rainfall support fragmentation), and the fluctuations of intensity amplitudes, to the overall intermittency of the rainfall process. The presence of three ranges of scaling regimes between 1 min to ~ 45 days is first demonstrated. In accordance with past studies, these regimes can be associated with a range dominated by single storms, a regime typical of frontal systems, and a transition zone. The positions of the breaking points separating these regimes change with the applied technique, suggesting that different tools explain different aspects of rainfall variability. Results indicate that the intermittency properties of rainfall support are fairly similar across the island, while metrics related to rainfall intensity fluctuations are characterized by significant spatial variability, implying that the local climate has a significant effect on the amplitude of rainfall fluctuations and minimal influence on the process of rainfall occurrence. In addition, for each analysis tool, evidence is shown of spatial patterns of the scaling exponents computed in the range of frontal systems. These patterns resemble the main pluviometric regimes observed on the island and, thus, can be associated with the corresponding synoptic circulation patterns. Last but not least, we demonstrate how the methodology adopted to sample the rainfall signal from the records of the tipping instants can significantly affect the intermittency analysis, especially at smaller scales. The multifractal scale invariance analysis is the only tool that is insensitive to the sampling approach. Results of this work may be useful to improve the calibration of stochastic algorithms used to downscale coarse rainfall predictions of climate and weather forecasting models, as well as the parameterization of intensity-duration-frequency curves, adopted for land planning and design of civil infrastructures.

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Date Created
  • 2013-01-29