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Understanding the vulnerability of surface–groundwater interactions to climate change: insights from a Bavarian Forest headwater catchment

Title data

Munir, Muhammad Usman ; Blaurock, Katharina ; Frei, Sven:
Understanding the vulnerability of surface–groundwater interactions to climate change: insights from a Bavarian Forest headwater catchment.
In: Environmental Earth Sciences. Vol. 83 (2024) . - 12.
ISSN 1866-6299
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-023-11314-2

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
BayKlif
No information

Project financing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst

Abstract in another language

Headwaters play a crucial role in maintaining forest biodiversity by providing unique habitats and are important for the regulation of water temperature and oxygen levels for downstream river networks. Approximately 90% of the total length of streams globally originate from headwaters and these systems are discussed to be especially vulnerable to impacts of climate change. This study uses an integrated hydrological model (HydroGeoSphere) in combination with 23 downscaled ensemble members from representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 to examine how climate change affects water availability in a headwater catchment under baseflow conditions. The simulations consistently predict increasing water deficits in summer and autumn for both the near (2021–2050) and far future (2071–2099). Annual mean water deficits were estimated to be 4 to 7 times higher than historical levels. This is mainly due to a projected reduction in precipitation inputs of up to – 22%, while AET rates remain similar to those observed during the historical reference period (1992–2018). The declining groundwater storage reserves within the catchment are expected to result in a significant decline in surface water availability during summer and autumn, with a reduction in mean annual stream discharge by up to 34% compared to the reference period. Due to declining groundwater levels, upstream reaches are predicted to become intermittent in summer leading to a reduction of the total stream flow length by up to 200 m. Findings from this study will enhance our understanding of future water availability in headwater systems and may aid in the development of effective management strategies for mitigating local impacts of climate change and preserving these vulnerable ecosystems.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Water availability in headwater catchment; Stream-aquifer interaction; Regional climate model; Integrated hydrological modelling
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology > Chair Hydrology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2023 07:13
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2024 06:11
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/88102