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Hydrological model of Amur River basin: development and application for flood risk management

Name
Alexander
Surname
Gelfan
Scientific organization
Water Problems Institute of RAS
Academic degree
Doctor of Science
Position
Deputy Director
Scientific discipline
Earth Sciences, Ecology & Environmental Management
Topic
Hydrological model of Amur River basin: development and application for flood risk management
Abstract
The first regional process-oriented model of runoff generation for the whole Amur River basin has been developed. The model is based on the ECOMAG and a hydrodynamic MIKE-11 model. The model has been tested by hydrometeorological observations for multi-year period, including disastrous flood of 2013. Opportunities of the model have been demonstrated for solving the following problems: (1) assessing flood control effect of the reservoirs and (2) assessing hydrological consequences of climate change in the Amur basin, including climate impact on hydrological extremes.

Keywords
hydrological modeling, Amur River, climate impact, human impact
Summary

The first regional process-oriented model of runoff generation for the whole Amur River basin has been developed. The model is based on the ECOMAG modelling system and describes processes of snow accumulation and melt, soil freezing and thawing, water infiltration into unfrozen and frozen soil, evapotranspiration, thermal and water regime of soil, overland and subsurface flow. To simulate channel flow a hydrodynamic MIKE-11 model has been coupled with the ECOMAG. The model has been calibrated using streamflow discharges measured in 15  different gauges of the main river and its tributaries for 10 years (1994-2003). Validation of the model has been carried out for next 10-year period (2004-2013). On the basis of the numerical experiments, opportunities of the model were illustrated by the example of the assessing the flood control function of the existing and projected reservoirs on the Zeya and Bureya rivers. It has been shown, particularly, that the absence of the Zeya and Bureya reservoirs would have resulted in a rise of water level in the Middle Amur by 1.7–2.1 m during flood wave rise and by 0.4–0.5 m during flood peak. In this case, the duration of water level standing above flooding level could increase 2–3 times. Thus, in the absence of the Zeya and Bureya reservoirs, the after effects of the flood of 2013 in the basin of the Middle Amur could have been much more disastrous, and the damage could have been more catastrophic. In addition, hydrological consequences of climate change in the Amur basin, including climate impact on hydrological extremes, have been assessed on the basis of numerical experiments with regional hydrological and ensemble of global climate models. It has been shown that the projected hydrological changes are insignificant in comparison with the uncertainty noise.