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Streamflow -- Forecasting, Hydrologic models, Uncertainty -- Mathematical models


In this study, we used precipitation elasticity index of streamflow, to reflect on the sensitivity of streamflow to changes in future precipitation. We estimated precipitation elasticity of streamflow from: (1) simulated streamflow by the VIC model using observed precipitation for the current climate (1963–2003); (2) simulated streamflow by the VIC model using simulated precipitation from 10 GCM - CMIP5 dataset for the future climate (2010–2099) including two different pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and two different downscaled products (BCSD and MACA). The hydrological model was calibrated at 1/16 latitude-longitude resolution and the simulated streamflow was routed to the subbasin outlets of interest i.e. Hungry Horse subbasin. We used hydrological model simulations from 19063-2003 and calculated streamflow sensitivities and precipitation elasticity for the same period using observed climate (case 1) and simulated climate (case 2). The runoff sensitivity to long-term (e.g., 30-year) average annual changes in precipitation is calculated based on the elasticity of streamflow for three different 30 year blocks (2010-40, 2040-70 and 2070-99), which are of importance to reservoir management in the Columbia River basin. These two cases and different periods are compared to assess the effects of forcing by different climate models and different pathways on the precipitation elasticity of streamflow.


Presented at the American Geophysical Union 2014 Fall Meeting



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