Simulating Climate and Landscape Effects on Hydrology using the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, Southeastern USA

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LaFontaine, Jacob H.
Hay, Lauren E.
Viger, Roland
Markstrom, Steven L.
Regan, R. Steve
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To help environmental resource managers assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems, the Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP) began in 2009. One component of the SERAP is development and calibration of a set of multi-resolution hydrologic models of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin. The ACF River Basin is home to multiple fish and wildlife species of conservation concern, is regionally important for water supply, and has been a recent focus of environmental and climate-change research. Hydrologic models of varying spatial extents and resolutions are required to address varied local-to-regional water-resource management questions as required by the scope and limits of potential management actions. These models are developed using the U.S. Geological Survey Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). A coarse-scale model developed for the ACF River Basin has a contributing area of approximately 50,700 km2; while, six fine-resolution PRMS models ranging in size from 396 km2 to 2,690 km2 are nested within the coarse-scale model, and have been developed for the following basins: the upper Chattahoochee, Chestatee, and Chipola Rivers, and Ichawaynochaway, Potato, and Spring Creeks. Both coarse- and fine-scale models simulate basin hydrology using daily time-steps, measured climatic data, and basin characteristics such as land cover and topography. Measured streamflow data are used to calibrate and evaluate computed basin hydrology. Land cover projections are used in conjunction with downscaled Global Climate Model results to simulate future hydrologic conditions for this set of models.
Sponsored by: Georgia Environmental Protection Division; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Water Resources Institute; The University of Georgia, Water Resources Faculty.
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