Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2012, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (2): 118-128.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2012.02.003

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Application of a Full Hierarchical Bayesian Model in Assessing Streamflow Response to a Climate Change Scenario at the Coweeta Basin, NC, USA

WU Wei1, James S. CLARK1, James M. VOSE2   

  1. 1 Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA;
    2 USDA-Forest Service, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Otto, NC 28763, USA
  • Received:2012-02-17 Revised:2012-05-09 Online:2012-06-30 Published:2012-06-30

Abstract: We have applied a full hierarchical Baysian (HB) model to simulate streamflow at the Coweeta Basin that drains western North Carolina, USA under a doubled CO2 climate scenario. The full HB model coherently assimilated multiple data sources and accounted for uncertainties from data, parameters and model structures. Full predictive distributions for streamflow from the Bayesian analysis indicate not only increasing drought, with substantial decrease in fall and summer flows, and soil moisture content, but also increase in the frequency of flood events when they were fit with Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) distribution and Generalized Pareto Distribution (GPD) under this doubled CO2 climate scenario compared to the current climate scenario. Full predictive distributions based on the hierarchical Bayesian model, compared to deterministic point estimates, is capable of providing richer information to facilitate development of adaptation strategy to changing climate for a sustainable water resource management.

Key words: hierarchical Bayes, hydrological modeling, climate change, uncertainty, hydrological extremes