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The response of runoff and sediment loading in the Apalachicola River under projected climate change scenarios and land use land cover (LULC) change is evaluated. A hydrologic model using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was developed for the Apalachicola region to simulate daily runoff and sediment load under present (circa 2000) and future conditions (2100) to understand how parameters respond over a seasonal time frame to changes in climate, LULC, and coupled climate/LULC. The Long Ashton Research Station-Weather Generator was used to downscale temperature and precipitation from three general circulation models, each under Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) carbon emission scenarios A2, A1B, and B1. Projected 2100 LULC data provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center was incorporated for each corresponding IPCC scenario. Results indicate that climate change may induce seasonal shifts to both runoff and sediment loading. Changes in LULC showed that more sediment load was associated with increased agriculture and urban areas and decreased forested regions. A nonlinear response for both runoff and sediment loading was observed by coupling climate and LULC change, suggesting that both should be incorporated into hydrologic models when studying the future conditions. The outcomes from this research can be used to better guide management practices and mitigation strategies.

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APA Citation

Hovenga, P. A., Wang, D., Medeiros, S. C., Hagen, S. C., & Alizad, K. (2016). The response of runoff and sediment loading in the Apalachicola River, Florida to climate and land use land cover change. Earth's Future, 4(5), 124–142.


© 2016 The Authors.

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