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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Simulating streamflow in ungauged basins under a changing climate: The importance of landscape characteristics

Teutschbein, Claudia; Grabs, Thomas; Laudon, Hjalmar; Karlsen, Reinert H.; Bishop, Kevin


In this paper we explored how landscape characteristics such as topography, geology, soils and land cover influence the way catchments respond to changing climate conditions. Based on an ensemble of 15 regional climate models bias-corrected with a distribution-mapping approach, present and future streamflow in 14 neighboring and rather similar catchments in Northern Sweden was simulated with the HBV model. We established functional relationships between a range of landscape characteristics and projected changes in streamflow signatures. These were then used to analyze hydrological consequences of physical perturbations in a hypothetically ungauged basin in a climate change context. Our analysis showed a strong connection between the forest cover extent and the sensitivity of different components of a catchment's hydrological regime to changing climate conditions. This emphasizes the need to redefine forestry goals and practices in advance of climate change-related risks and uncertainties.


Hydrological modeling; Streamflow signatures; Climate change; Forest; Clear-cut; Ungauged

Published in

Journal of Hydrology
2018, Volume: 561, pages: 160-178