Impact of Climate Change on Reservoir Flood Control in the Upstream Area of the Beijiang River Basin, South China

Chuanhao Wu School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

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Guoru Huang School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, and State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

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Haijun Yu School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

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Zhijing Chen Hydrology Bureau of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, China

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Jingguang Ma Hydrology Bureau of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, China

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Abstract

One of the potential impacts of global warming is likely to be experienced through changes in flood frequency and magnitude, which poses a potential threat to the downstream reservoir flood control system. In this paper, the downscaling results of the multimodel dataset from phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 and CMIP5, respectively) were coupled with the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model to evaluate the impact of climate change on the Feilaixia reservoir flood control in the Beijiang River basin for the first time. Four emissions scenarios [A1B and representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5] were chosen. Results indicate that annual distribution and interannual variability of temperature and precipitation are well simulated by the downscaling results of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 multimodel dataset. The VIC model, which performs reasonably well in simulating runoff processes with high model efficiency and low relative error, is suitable for the study area. Overall, annual maximum 1-day precipitation in 2020–50 would increase under all the scenarios (relative to the baseline period 1970–2000). However, the spatial distribution patterns of changes in projected extreme precipitation are uneven under different scenarios. Extreme precipitation is most closely associated with extreme floods in the study area. There is a gradual increase in extreme floods in 2020–50 under any of the different emission scenarios. The increases in 500-yr return period daily discharge of the Feilaixia reservoir have been found to be from 4.35% to 9.18% in 2020–50. The reservoir would be likely to undergo more flooding in 2020–50.

Corresponding author address: Guoru Huang, School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, 381 Wushan Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China. E-mail: huanggr@scut.edu.cn

Abstract

One of the potential impacts of global warming is likely to be experienced through changes in flood frequency and magnitude, which poses a potential threat to the downstream reservoir flood control system. In this paper, the downscaling results of the multimodel dataset from phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 and CMIP5, respectively) were coupled with the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model to evaluate the impact of climate change on the Feilaixia reservoir flood control in the Beijiang River basin for the first time. Four emissions scenarios [A1B and representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5] were chosen. Results indicate that annual distribution and interannual variability of temperature and precipitation are well simulated by the downscaling results of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 multimodel dataset. The VIC model, which performs reasonably well in simulating runoff processes with high model efficiency and low relative error, is suitable for the study area. Overall, annual maximum 1-day precipitation in 2020–50 would increase under all the scenarios (relative to the baseline period 1970–2000). However, the spatial distribution patterns of changes in projected extreme precipitation are uneven under different scenarios. Extreme precipitation is most closely associated with extreme floods in the study area. There is a gradual increase in extreme floods in 2020–50 under any of the different emission scenarios. The increases in 500-yr return period daily discharge of the Feilaixia reservoir have been found to be from 4.35% to 9.18% in 2020–50. The reservoir would be likely to undergo more flooding in 2020–50.

Corresponding author address: Guoru Huang, School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, 381 Wushan Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China. E-mail: huanggr@scut.edu.cn
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