Paper No. JAWRA-09-0086-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
Contrasting Lumped and Distributed Hydrology Models for Estimating Climate Change Impacts on California Watersheds1
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2010
© 2010 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 46, Issue 5, pages 1024–1035, October 2010
How to Cite
Maurer, E. P., Brekke, L. D. and Pruitt, T. (2010), Contrasting Lumped and Distributed Hydrology Models for Estimating Climate Change Impacts on California Watersheds. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 46: 1024–1035. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00473.x
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2010
- Received June 4, 2009; accepted June 22, 2010.
- climate variability/change;
- surface water hydrology
Maurer, Edwin P., Levi D. Brekke, and Tom Pruitt, 2010. Contrasting Lumped and Distributed Hydrology Models for Estimating Climate Change Impacts on California Watersheds. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 46(5):1024–1035. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00473.x
Abstract: We compare the projected changes to streamflows for three Sierra Nevada rivers using statistically downscaled output from 22 global climate projections. The downscaled meteorological data are used to drive two hydrology models: the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting model and the variable infiltration capacity model. These two models differ in their spatial resolution, computational time step, and degree and objective of calibration, thus producing significantly different simulations of current and future streamflow. However, the projected percentage changes in monthly streamflows through mid-21st Century generally did not differ, with the exceptions of streamflow during low flow months, and extreme low flows. These findings suggest that for physically based hydrology models applied to snow-dominated basins in Mediterranean climate regimes like the Sierra Nevada, California, model formulation, resolution, and calibration are secondary factors for estimating projected changes in extreme flows (seasonal or daily). For low flows, hydrology model selection and calibration can be significant factors in assessing impacts of projected climate change.