Modeling the sedimentary response of a large Pyrenean basin to global change
- 258 Downloads
Erosion processes at the catchment scale control a basin’s morphology and sediment patterns in the river network. Eroded sediments are transported and deposited downstream and may cause environmental problems and relevant effects on water storage and hydropower infrastructures. Quantification of water and sediment yield is complex due to the physical processes involved and their temporal and spatial variability, especially at the light of current global change.
Materials and methods
Numerical models that use spatially distributed information constitute a useful tool for these estimates, when sufficient input data are available. In this study, we applied the hydrological and sedimentological TETIS model to determine the patterns of water and sediment yield in a large mountain catchment. Flow discharge data obtained from two gauged stations were used for calibration and validation of the hydrological sub-model. Data from two reservoir bathymetries at the outlet of the study area were used for calibration of the sedimentological sub-model. After model calibration, several scenarios of climate and land use change were simulated.
Results and discussion
Climate scenarios show a general decrease in average annual precipitation and an increase in temperature, associated with an increase in extreme rainfall events. Global change scenarios lead to a counteracting effect between the increase in sediment transport during extreme events and the decrease in sediment erosion associated with afforestation following the abandonment of agricultural land. In the case of the most extreme climate scenario combined with total catchment deforestation, the model indicates a complete siltation of the reservoir by 2050.
Model performance emphasizes its potential as a tool for evaluating water and sediment yield for large catchments, as well as of its usefulness for water and sediment management in light of future climate and land use change scenarios.
KeywordsGlobal change Hydrology Reservoir siltation River Noguera Pallaresa Sediment yield TETIS model
This work has been supported by the Biodiversity Conservation Plan of ENDESA S.A., within the A3 project “Analysis of the effects of global change on water resources and potential ecological status of water bodies in basins of high hydropower activity (Noguera Pallaresa, Lleida, Spain)”. Damià Vericat has a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship (RYC-2010-06264) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competiveness. We thank Endesa Generación S.A. for the support during the bathymetric surveys in 2015. Finally, we acknowledge the support from the Economy and Knowledge Department of the Catalan Government through the Consolidated Research Groups: 2014 SGR 645 (RIUS—Fluvial Dynamics Research Group) and 2014 SGR 291 (ICRA—Catalan Institute for Water Research).
- Barrera-Escoda A, Cunillera J (2011) Climate change projections for Catalonia (NE Iberian peninsula). Part I: regional climate modeling Tethys 8:75–87Google Scholar
- Einstein HA (1950) The bedload function for bed load transportation in open channel flows. Technical bulletin no. 1026. U.S.D.A., Soil Conservation Service, USAGoogle Scholar
- Engelund F, Hansen E (1967) A monograph on sediment transport in alluvial streams. Monogr Denmark Tech Univ Hydraul Lab. Teknisk Forlag, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- ESDB Ver2 (2004) The European Soil Database distribution version 2.0, European Commission and the European Soil Bureau Network, CD-ROM, EUR 19945 EN. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
- Francés F, García-Bartual R, Bussi G (2011) High return period annual maximum reservoir water level quantiles estimation using synthetic generated flood events. In: Risk analysis, dam safety, dam security and critical infrastructure management. Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp 185–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kilinc M, Richardson EV (1973) Mechanics of soil erosion from overland flow generated by simulated rainfall. Hydrology paper 63. Colorado State University, Fort Collins 54 ppGoogle Scholar
- Lasanta T, García-Ruíz JM (1996) Erosión y recuperación de tierras en áreas marginales. 915. Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, SEG, Logroño, SpainGoogle Scholar
- Leopold LB, Maddock T (1953) The hydraulic geometry of stream channels and some physiographic implications. U.S. Geological Survey. Prof. paper No. 252, USAGoogle Scholar
- López-Moreno JI, Zabalza J, Vicente-Serrano SM, Revuelto J, Gilaberte M, Azorin-Molina C, Morán-Tejeda E, García-Ruiz JM, Tague C (2014) Impact of climate and land use change on water availability and reservoir management: scenarios in the upper Aragón River, Spanish Pyrenees. Sci Total Environ 493:1222–1231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Montoya JJ (2008) Desarrollo de un modelo conceptual de producción, transporte y depósito de sedimentos. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, SpainGoogle Scholar
- Morris GL, Fan J (2008) Reservoir sedimentation handbook, 1.04 edn. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New YorkGoogle 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
- Palau A (2002) Aspectos medioambientales de la sedimentación en embalses. Actas de la Jornada Técnica de la Sociedad Española de Grandes Presas (SEPREM), Madrid, pp 104–117Google 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 Hazard Earth Sys 12:3287–3306CrossRefGoogle 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 erosion. IECA, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
- Sanz ME, Avendaño C, Cobo R (1999) Influencia de los embalses en el transporte de sedimentos hasta el río Ebro (España). Proceedings of the Congress on Hydrological and geochemical processes in large-scale river basins. HIBAM, ShahinGoogle Scholar
- 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
- Wischmeier WH, Johnson CB, Cross BV (1971) Soil credibility nomograph for farmland and construction sites. J Soil Water Conserv 26:189–193Google Scholar