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Application of hydrological models in climate changes scenarios in semi- arid area – Brazil

Congress: 2008
Author(s): José Roberto Gonçalves de Azevedo, Suzana Maria Gico Lima Motenegro

Keyword(s): Climate changes, semi-arid, hydrologic simulation
AbstractIn this paper comparisons were accomplished among the results of two hydrological models application in scenarios of climate changes due to greenhouse effect in the Piancó River basin, a semi-arid area of the Brazilian Northeast. Two hydrological models were used: GRH (conceptual, concentrated Model), developed by the Water Resources Group (Federal University of Pernambuco), and MIKE SHE (conceptual, distributed Model), developed by British Institute of Hydrology, Danish Hydraulic Institute Water and Environment (DHI) and for the French consultancy company SOGREAH. The goal of this work was to evaluate the sensitivity of the water resources availability in the studied basin to climate changes due to greenhouse effect, translated through alterations in the hydroclimatological variables supplied to the two hydrological models in a monthly time scale. The Piancó River basin is integrally located at the Southwest of the Paraíba State, with the following geographical coordinates: 06º43'52'' and 07º50'28'' South and 37º26'56'' and 38º42'56'' West. The annual average rainfall is around 800mm, being characterized by intense space and temporal variability along the hydrological year. The Piancó fluviometric station, where the hydrological models were applied has 4.553,73 square kilometer of drainage area. To reach the objective of the work, the following stages were developed: hydroclimatological data acquisition and analysis; potential climate changes definition, which basically consisted of regular alterations of the rainfall and potential evapotranspiration monthly data; calibration and validation of the used hydrological models with the historical data, being 240 months (January/1964 to December/1983) supplied to the models in the calibration stage and 84 months (January/1984 to December/1990) supplied to the models in the validation stage; runoff generation using the hydrological models parameters fitted in the previous stage and the synthetic series of hydroclimatological data obtained from the scenarios of climate changes developed for the area. With the obtained results it was possible to observe the good performance of the models to simulating the rainfall-runoff process in the studied basin. Both models adequetely represented the flow in volumetric unit, the ascension periods, the recession periods and the hydrogram general form of the flow historical series. The models application with the hydroclimatological data due to the synthetic scenarios of climate changes demonstrated the sensitivity of the scarce water resources to climate variations in the area.
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