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SSII-Evap: Simplified scheme to incorporate improved evapotranspiration estimates into the streamflow elasticity framework
- Somorowska, Urszula
- MethodsX 2019 v.6 pp. 672-681
- anthropogenic activities, climate change, climatic factors, evapotranspiration, humans, landscapes, runoff, stream flow, vegetation cover, watersheds
- The streamflow elasticity concept based on the Budyko framework is widely used in hydrological impact assessment studies. However, in landscapes transformed by human activities, identification of climate contributions to runoff change is difficult due to changing surface properties of river basins. Here, a method is proposed to quantify the effects of changing vegetation cover and included them in the calculus. The simplified scheme to incorporate improved evapotranspiration estimates into the streamflow elasticity framework is introduced and named as “SSII-Evap” method. SSII-Evap allows for calculating runoff changes induced by climate taking into account: 1) changes in two climatic variables (precipitation and potential evapotranspiration) and 2) changes in land surface conditions responsible for varying actual evapotranspiration. The six-step procedure provides a focused guide for enhancing the original method.The SSII-Evap method introduces a bias correction to the original bivariate framework of streamflow elasticity to climate change. In contrast to the original method, SSII-Evap accounts for the influence of vegetation changes on actual evapotranspiration that is estimated from satellite-derived data. The elaborated customization is helpful for discriminating between climatic and human induced changes in mean annual runoff and is applicable to heavily modified river basins.