Modelling the impact of climate change on sediment yield in a highly erodible Mediterranean catchment
- 611 Downloads
The assessment of climate change impacts on the sediment cycle is currently a primary concern for environmental policy analysts in Mediterranean areas. Nevertheless, quantitative assessment of climate change impacts is still a complex task. The aim of this study was to implement a sediment model by taking advantage of sediment proxy information provided by reservoir bottom deposits and to use it for climate change assessment in a Mediterranean catchment.
Materials and methods
The sediment model was utilised in a catchment that drains into a large reservoir. The depositional history of the reservoir was reconstructed and used for sediment sub-model implementation. The model results were compared with gauged suspended sediment data in order to verify model robustness. Then, the model was coupled with future precipitation and temperature scenarios obtained from climate models. Climatological model outputs for two emission scenarios (A2 and B2) were simulated and the results compared with a reference scenario.
Results and discussion
Model results showed a general decrease in soil moisture and water discharge. Large floods, which are responsible for the majority of sediment mobilisation, also showed a general decrease. Sediment yield showed a clear reduction under the A2 scenario but increased under the B2 scenario. The computed specific sediment yield for the control period was 6.33 Mg ha−1 year−1, while for the A2 and B2 scenarios, it was 3.62 and 7.04 Mg ha−1 year−1, respectively. Furthermore, sediment transport showed an increase in its time compression, i.e. a stronger dependence of total sediment yield from the largest event contributions.
This study shows a methodology for implementing a distributed sediment model by exploiting reservoir sedimentation volumes. This methodology can be applied to a wide range of catchments, given the high availability of reservoir sedimentation data. Moreover, this study showed how such a model can be used in the framework of a climate change study, providing a measure of the impact of climate change on soil erosion and sediment yields.
KeywordsClimate change Ésera River catchment Reservoir sedimentation Sediment modelling TETIS
This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the research projects SCARCE-CONSOLIDER (ref. CSD2009-00065) and ECOTETIS (ref. CGL2011-28776-C02-01). Suspended sediment records of the Isábena river and bathymetrical surveys were carried out within the framework of the project “Sediment export from large semi-arid catchments: measurements and modelling (SESAM), funded by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). The authors wish to thank the Ebro Water Authorities for permission to install the measuring equipment at the Capella gauging station and or providing hydrological data. Both observed and modelled precipitation and temperature data were provided by the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET). Some of the reservoir bathymetric survey reports were provided by Rafael Cobo Rayán (CEH-CEDEX, National Center for Hydrological Studies).
- Avendaño Salas C, Cobo Rayán R (1998) Seguimiento de los sólidos en suspensión durante el vaciado del embalse de Joaquín Costa. Limnética 14:113–120Google Scholar
- Avendaño Salas С, Sanz Montero ME, Cobo Rayán R, Gómez Montaña JL (1997) Sediment yield at Spanish reservoirs and its relationship with the drainage basin area. In: Proceedings of the 19th Symposium of Large Dams, Florence. ICOLD (International Committee on Large Dams), pp 863–874Google Scholar
- Beguería S, López-Moreno JI, Lorente L, Seeger M, García-Ruiz JM (2003) Assessing the effect of climate oscillations and land-use changes on streamflow in the central Spanish Pyrenees. Ambio 32:283–286Google Scholar
- Bussi G, Francés F, Montoya JJ, Julien PY (2014), Distributed sediment yield modelling: importance of initial sediment conditions, Environ Model Softw 58:58–70Google Scholar
- Cusack S, Slingo A, Edwards JM, Wild M (1998) The radiative impact of a simple aerosol climatology on the Hadley Centre atmospheric GCM. Quat J R Meteorol Soc 124:2517–2526Google Scholar
- Duck R, McManus J (1993) Sedimentation in natural and artificial impoundments: an indicator of evolving climate land use and dynamic conditions. In: McManus J, Duck R (eds) Geomorphology and sedimentology of lakes and reservoirs. Wiley and Sons, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
- Engelund F, Hansen E (1967) A monograph on sediment transport in alluvial streams. Monogr Denmark Tech Univ Hydraul Lab, Teknisk Forlag, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- ESDB2 (2004) The European Soil Database distribution version 2.0. European Commission and the European Soil Bureau Network Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
- European Environment Agency (2007) CLC2006 technical guidelines EEA technical report no. 17/2007. European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
- IGME (1994) Mapa geológico de la península ibérica Baleares y Canarias. Instituto Tecnológico Geominero de España, MadridGoogle Scholar
- Jolly JP (1982) A proposed method for accurately calculating sediment yields from reservoir deposition volumes. In: Proceedings of the Exeter Symposium "Recent developments in the explanation and prediction of erosion and sediment yield". Ed. D. E. Walling. IAHS Publ No 37, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
- Kilinc M, Richardson EV (1973) Mechanics of soil erosion from overland flow generated by simulated rainfall. Colorado State University Hydrology Papers, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
- Lane EW, Koelzer VA (1943) Density of sediments deposited in reservoirs. Rep No 9 of a Study of Methods Used in Measurement and Analysis of Sediment Loads in Streams, Engineering District, St. Paul, MN, USA, District Sub-Office Univ. of Iowa, USAGoogle Scholar
- Le Roux JS, Roos ZN (1982) The rate of soil erosion in the Wuras Dam catchment calculated from sediments trapped in the dam. Z Geomorphol Suppl 26:315–329Google Scholar
- Mamede GL (2008) Reservoir sedimentation in dryland catchments: modelling and management. PhD dissertation, University of Potsdam, UniversitätsbibliothekGoogle Scholar
- Miller CR (1953) Determination of the unit weight of sediment for use in sediment volume computations. Bureau of Reclamation Memorandum Denver, Colorado, USGoogle Scholar
- Müller EN, Francke T (2008) SESAM DATA SESAM: sediment export from semi-arid catchments—measurement and modelling (2005–2008). Potsdam, GermanyGoogle Scholar
- Nadal-Romero E, Lasanta T, Gonzalez-Hidalgo JC, de Luis M, García-Ruiz JM (2012) The effect of intense rainstorm events on the suspended sediment response under various land uses: the Aísa valley experimental station. Cuad Investig Geogr 38:27–47Google Scholar
- Nakicenovic N, Swart R (2000) Special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Nearing MA, Pruski FF, O’Neill MR (2004) Expected climate change impacts on soil erosion rates: a review. J Soil Water Conserv (USA) 59:43–50Google Scholar
- Olive LJ, Rieger WA (1988) An examination of the role of sampling strategies in the study of suspended sediment transport. In Sediment Budgets. IAHS Publ 174, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK, pp 259–267Google Scholar
- Salazar S, Francés F, Komma J, Blume T, Francke T, Bronstert A, Blöschl G (2013) A comparative analysis of the effectiveness of flood management measures based on the concept of “retaining water in the landscape” in different European hydro-climatic regions. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12(11):3287–3306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sanz Montero ME, Cobo Rayán R, Avendaño Salas C, Gómez Montaña JL (1996) Influence of the drainage basin area on the sediment yield to Spanish reservoirs. In: Proceedings of the First European Conference and Trace Exposition on Control ErosionGoogle Scholar
- Serrano-Muela P, Nadal-Romero E, Lana-Renault N, González-Hidalgo JC, López-Moreno J I, Beguería S, Sanjuan Y, García-Ruiz JM (2013) An exceptional rainfall event in the Central Western Pyrenees: spatial patterns in discharge and impact. Land Degrad Dev, Online ver. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2221
- Van Rompaey A, Vieillefont V, Jones RJA, Montanarella L, Verstraeten G, Bazzoffi P, Dostal T, Krasa J, de Vente J, Poesen J (2003) Validation of soil erosion estimates at European scale. European Soil Bureau Research Report No13 EUR 20827 EN Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
- Webb BW, Foster IDL, Gurnell A (1995) Hydrology water quality and sediment behaviour. In: Foster IDL, Gurnell A, Webb BW (eds) Sediment and water quality in river catchments. Wiley, Chichester, pp 1–30Google Scholar
- Zhao G, Mu X, Wen Z, Wang F, Gao P (2013) Soil erosion, conservation and eco-environment changes in the Loess Plateau of China. Land Degrad Dev 24:499–510Google Scholar