On the Changing Contribution of Snow to the Hydrology of the Fraser River Basin, Canada

Kang, Do Hyuk and Shi, Xiaogang and Gao, Huilin and Déry, Stephen J. (2014) On the Changing Contribution of Snow to the Hydrology of the Fraser River Basin, Canada. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15 (4). pp. 1344-1365. ISSN 1525-755X

[img]
Preview
PDF (DK_et_al_2014)
DK_et_al_2014.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (5MB)

Abstract

This paper presents an application of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model to the Fraser River basin (FRB) of British Columbia (BC), Canada, over the latter half of the twentieth century. The Fraser River is the longest waterway in BC and supports the world’s most abundant Pacific Ocean salmon populations. Previous modeling and observational studies have demonstrated that the FRB is a snow-dominated system, but with climate change, it may evolve to a pluvial regime. Thus, the goal of this study is to evaluate the changing contribution of snow to the hydrology of the FRB over the latter half of the twentieth century. To this end, a 0.25° atmospheric forcing dataset is used to drive the VIC model from 1949 to 2006 (water years) at a daily time step over a domain covering the entire FRB. A model evaluation is first conducted over 11 major subwatersheds of the FRB to quantitatively assess the spatial variations of snow water equivalent (SWE) and runoff (R). The ratio of the spatially averaged maximum SWE to R (RSR) is used to quantify the contribution of snow to the runoff in the 11 subwatersheds of interest. From 1949 to 2006, RSR exhibits a significant decline in 9 of the 11 subwatersheds (with p < 0.05 according to the Mann–Kendall test statistics). To determine the sensitivity of RSR, the air temperature and precipitation in the forcing dataset are then perturbed. The ratio RSR decreases more significantly, especially during the 1990s and 2000s, when air temperatures have warmed considerably compared to the 1950s. On the other hand, increasing precipitation by a multiplicative factor of 1.1 causes RSR to decrease. As the climate continues to warm, ecological processes and human usage of natural resources in the FRB may be substantially affected by its transition from a snow to a hybrid (nival/pluvial) and even a rain-dominated system.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Hydrometeorology
Additional Information:
© Copyright 2014 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. All AMS journals and monograph publications are registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (http://www.copyright.com). Questions about permission to use materials for which AMS holds the copyright can also be directed to the AMS Permissions Officer at permissions@ametsoc.org. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement, available on the AMS website (http://www.ametsoc.org/CopyrightInformation).
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1902
Subjects:
ID Code:
89402
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
03 Jan 2018 14:58
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Sep 2020 03:56