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Effects on runoff caused by changes in land cover in a Brazilian southeast basin: evaluation by HEC-HMS and HEC-GEOHMS

de Moraes, ThalitaCosta, dos Santos, VitorJuste, Calijuri, MariaLĂșcia, Torres, FillipeTamiozzo Pereira
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.6 pp. 250
agricultural development, basins, computer software, crops, hydrologic data, hydrologic models, indigenous species, land cover, pastures, rain, rivers, runoff, social problems, soil, topographic maps, uncertainty, urban areas, Brazil
The Southeast Region of Brazil has undergone major changes in land cover, especially after the eighteenth century. It is currently the most populous region of the country, highly urbanized, with a high degree of industrial and agricultural development. Extensive areas of native vegetation have been replaced by pastures, crops and urban areas, which have increased runoff, causing environmental, economic and social problems related to flooding. The objective of this study was to analyze effects of land cover changes in a basin with rural and urban characteristics on the flow of its main river. Hydrological data, orbital images, soils and topographical maps were used for this purpose. Based on the land cover maps for the years of 1989, 2001 and 2015, and on the hydrological modeling performed using the Hec-HMS 4.1 software, scenarios were simulated and showed that the land cover changes in this basin significantly affect the flow behavior of the main river. The simulated runoff was calibrated using the data observed in the field during 2001, and validation was performed using data from 1989. After the calibration and validation processes, a scenario was simulated where the rainiest month of the whole series measured by the rainfall station (during December 1989) acted on the land cover of 2015. There was an increase in pasture areas and impermeable spaces in the basin, which caused a decrease in infiltration and an increase in surface runoff, and also an increase in the flow peaks and a reduction in the time of concentration. The hydrological modeling was satisfactory, since the uncertainties related to the simulation were low.