Earth Science Informatics

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 205–216 | Cite as

Assessing hydro-morphological changes in Mediterranean stream using curvilinear grid modeling approach - climate change impacts

  • Giasemi G. Morianou
  • Nektarios N. Kourgialas
  • George P. Karatzas
  • Nikolaos P. Nikolaidis
Research Article


The objective of this work was the estimation of time-space hydraulic (water depth, flow velocity) and morphological (sediment transport and bank erosion) characteristics in the downstream part of a Mediterranean stream under current and future climatic conditions. The two-dimensional hydraulic model MIKE 21C was used, which has been developed specifically to simulate 2D flow and morphological changes in rivers. The model is based on an orthogonal curvilinear grid and comprises two parts: (a) the hydrodynamic part and (b) the morphological changes part. The curvilinear grid and the bathymetry file were generated using a very high-resolution DEM (1 m × 1 m). Time series discharge data from a hydrometric station introduced in the hydrodynamic part of the model. Regarding the morphological part of the model, field measurements of suspended sediment concentration and of bank erosion were used. The model was calibrated and verified using field data that were collected during high and low flow discharges. Model simulation was in good agreement with field observations as indicated by a variety of statistical measures. Next, for predicting the riverbank change, future meteorological data and river flow data for the next 10 years (2017–2027) were employed. These data series were created according to a lower and a higher emission climate change scenario. Based on the results, an increase in rainfall intensity may cause significant changes in river banks after 10 years (more than 5 m of soil loss in river meanders). Using the obtained simulation results, extreme hydrological events such as floods transporting large sediment loads and changes in river morphology can be monitored. The proposed methodology was applied to the downstream part of the Koiliaris River Basin in Crete, Greece.


Curvilinear grid Hydraulic simulation River morphology Mediterranean stream Climate change 



The authors would like to acknowledge DHI for providing the MIKE 21C software used in this research work and the “ARISTEIA II” Action (REINFORCE program).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giasemi G. Morianou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nektarios N. Kourgialas
    • 1
  • George P. Karatzas
    • 2
  • Nikolaos P. Nikolaidis
    • 2
  1. 1.Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA, Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture - Water Resources, Irrigation & Environmental Geoinformatics LaboratoryNational Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.RE.F.)ChaniaGreece
  2. 2.School of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece

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