The effects of changing land cover on streamflow simulation in Puerto Rico

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
By: , and 

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Abstract

This study quantitatively explores whether land cover changes have a substantive impact on simulated streamflow within the tropical island setting of Puerto Rico. The Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) was used to compare streamflow simulations based on five static parameterizations of land cover with those based on dynamically varying parameters derived from four land cover scenes for the period 1953-2012. The PRMS simulations based on static land cover illustrated consistent differences in simulated streamflow across the island. It was determined that the scale of the analysis makes a difference: large regions with localized areas that have undergone dramatic land cover change may show negligible difference in total streamflow, but streamflow simulations using dynamic land cover parameters for a highly altered subwatershed clearly demonstrate the effects of changing land cover on simulated streamflow. Incorporating dynamic parameterization in these highly altered watersheds can reduce the predictive uncertainty in simulations of streamflow using PRMS. Hydrologic models that do not consider the projected changes in land cover may be inadequate for water resource management planning for future conditions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The effects of changing land cover on streamflow simulation in Puerto Rico
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/jawr.12227
Volume 50
Issue 6
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 19 p.
First page 1575
Last page 1593
Country Puerto Rico