Historical trends and the long-term changes of the hydrological cycle components in a Mediterranean river basin


Identifying the historical hydrometeorological trends in a river basin is necessary for understanding the dominant interactions between climate, human activities and local hydromorphological conditions. Estimating the hydrological reference conditions in a river is also crucial for estimating accurately the impacts from human water related activities and design appropriate water management schemes. In this effort, the output of a regional past climate model was used, covering the period from 1660 to 1990, in combination with a dynamic, spatially distributed, hydrologic model to estimate the past and recent trends in the main hydrologic parameters such as overland flow, water storages and evapotranspiration, in a Mediterranean river basin. The simulated past hydrologic conditions (1660–1960) were compared with the current hydrologic regime (1960–1990), to assess the magnitude of human and natural impacts on the identified hydrologic trends. The hydrological components of the recent period of 2008–2016 were also examined in relation to the impact of human activities. The estimated long-term trends of the hydrologic parameters were partially assigned to varying atmospheric forcing due to volcanic activity combined with spontaneous meteorological fluctuations.
QR Code: Link to publication