A Hydrological Response Analysis Considering Climatic Variability: Case Study of Hunza Catchment

A. N. Laghari, W. Rauch, M. A. Soomro


The hydrological response of mountainous catchments particularly dependent on melting runoff is very vulnerable to climatic variability. This study is an attempt to assess hydrological response towards climatic variability of the Hunza catchment located in the mountainous chain of greater Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. The hydrological response is analyzed through changes in snowmelt, ice melt and total runoff simulated through the application of the hydrological modeling system PREVAH under hypothetically developed climate change scenarios. The developed scenarios are based on changes in precipitation (Prp) and temperature (Tmp) and their combination. Under all the warmer scenarios, the increase in temperature systematically decreases the mean annual snow melt and increases significantly glacier melt volume. Temperature changes from 1°C to 4°C produce a large increase in spring and summer runoff, while no major variation was observed in the winter and autumn runoff. The maximum seasonal changes recorded under the Tmp+4°C, Prp+10% scenario.


mountain region; Hunza catchment; melting contribution; water resources

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