The Potential Effects of Climate Change on Streamflow in Rivers Basin of Korea Using Rainfall Elasticity

Kim, Byung Sik;Hong, Seung Jin;Lee, Hyun Dong

  • Received : 2012.03.06
  • Accepted : 2013.01.16
  • Published : 2013.03.30


In this paper, the rainfall elasticity of streamflow was estimated to quantify the effects of climate change on 5 river basins. Rainfall elasticity denotes the sensitivity of annual streamflow for the variations of potential annual rainfall. This is a simple, useful method that evaluates how the balance of a water cycle on river basins changes due to long-term climate change and offers information to manage water resources and environment systems. The elasticity method was first used by Schaake in 1990 and is commonly used in the United States and Australia. A semi-distributed hydrological model (SLURP, semi-distributed land use-based runoff processes) was used to simulate the variations of area streamflow, and potential evapotranspiration. A nonparametric method was then used to estimate the rainfall elasticity on five river basins of Korea. In addition, the A2 (SRES IPCC AR4, Special Report on Emission Scenarios IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) climate change scenario and stochastic downscaling technique were used to create a high-resolution weather change scenario in river basins, and the effects of climate change on the rainfall elasticity of each basin were then analyzed.


Climate change;Nonparametric estimation;Rainfall elasticity


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