The role of urban growth, climate change, and their interplay in altering runoff extremes

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18 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in climate and urban growth are the most influential factors affecting hydrological characteristics in urban and extra-urban contexts. The assessment of the impacts of these changes on the extreme rainfall–runoff events may have important implications on urban and extra-urban management policies against severe events, such as floods, and on the design of hydraulic infrastructures. Understanding the effects of the interaction between climate change and urban growth on the generation of runoff extremes is the main aim of this paper. We carried out a synthetic experiment on a river catchment of 64 km2to generate hourly runoff time series under different hypothetical scenarios. We imposed a growth of the percentage of urban coverage within the basin (from 1.5% to 25%), a rise in mean temperature of 2.6 °C, and an alternatively increase/decrease in mean annual precipitation of 25%; changes in mean annual precipitation were imposed following different schemes, either changing rainstorm frequency or rainstorm intensity. The modelling framework consists of a physically based distributed hydrological model, which simulates fast and slow mechanisms of runoff generation directly connected with the impervious areas, a land-use change model, and a weather generator. The results indicate that the peaks over threshold and the hourly annual peaks, used as hydrological indicators, are very sensitive to the rainstorm intensity. Moreover, the effects of climate changes dominate on those of urban growth determining an exacerbation of the fast runoff component in extreme events and a reduction of the slow and deep runoff component, thus limiting changes in the overall runoff.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1755-1770
Numero di pagine16
RivistaHydrological Processes
Volume32
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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