Predicting glacio-hydrologic change in the headwaters of the Zongo River, Cordillera Real, Bolivia Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/2b88qf16w

To the best of our knowledge, one or more authors of this paper were federal employees when contributing to this work. This is the publisher’s final pdf. The article is copyrighted by American Geophysical Union and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. It can be found at:  http://sites.agu.org/

The Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) reanalysis meteorological data can be downloaded from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES-DISC,  http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov). Most of the glaciological and meteorological data measured in the watershed that were utilized in this study can be downloaded from the Glacioclim database ( http://www-lgge.ujfgrenoble.fr/ServiceObs/). Nonpublic glaciological and meteorological data can be obtained with agreement from the Institute of Research for Development (IRD). The CMIP5 general circulation model output can be downloaded from the World Climate Research Program (WCRP,  http://cmippcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/). The Landsat Thematic Mapper scenes can be downloaded from the United States Geological Survey (USGS,  http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/). All glacio-hydrological model data presented in this manuscript are available by request through the corresponding author ( chrisf2@uw.edu). Surface energy balance observations were provided by Jean Emmanuel Sicart ( jean-emmanuel.sicart@ird.fr).

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  • In many partially glacierized watersheds glacier recession driven by a warming climate could lead to complex patterns of streamflow response over time, often marked with rapid increases followed by sharp declines, depending on initial glacier ice cover and rate of climate change. Capturing such “phases” of hydrologic response is critical in regions where communities rely on glacier meltwater, particularly during low flows. In this paper, we investigate glacio-hydrologic response in the headwaters of the Zongo River, Bolivia, under climate change using a distributed glacio-hydrological model over the period of 1987–2100. Model predictions are evaluated through comparisons with satellite-derived glacier extent estimates, glacier surface velocity, in situ glacier mass balance, surface energy flux, and stream discharge measurements. Historically (1987–2010) modeled glacier melt accounts for 27% of annual runoff, and 61% of dry season (JJA) runoff on average. During this period the relative glacier cover was observed to decline from 35 to 21% of the watershed. In the future, annual and dry season discharge is projected to decrease by 4% and 27% by midcentury and 25% and 57% by the end of the century, respectively, following the loss of 81% of the ice in the watershed. Modeled runoff patterns evolve through the interplay of positive and negative trends in glacier melt and increased evapotranspiration as the climate warms. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that the selection of model surface energy balance parameters greatly influences the trajectory of hydrological change projected during the first half of the 21st century. These model results underscore the importance of coupled glacio-hydrology modeling.
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  • Frans, C., Istanbulluoglu, E., Lettenmaier, D. P., Naz, B. S., Clarke, G. K., Condom, T., ... & Nolin, A. W. (2015). Predicting glacio‐hydrologic change in the headwaters of the Zongo River, Cordillera Real, Bolivia. Water Resources Research, 51(11), 9029-9052. doi:10.1002/2014WR016728
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