GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 149-7
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


DIERAUER, Jennifer R., Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 and ZHU, Chen, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, 1001 E. Tenth St., GY129, Bloomington, IN 47405-1405

One of the challenges for successful climate change adaptation is that it requires changes to both how science is conducted and how scientific results are communicated. The Prepared for Environmental Change (PfEC) Grand Challenge project at Indiana University is addressing this challenge through a multi-discipline study spanning the hydrological, atmospheric, ecological, and social sciences. Here we present the hydrological science portion of the PfEC project, which combines hydrological modeling with the development of a science gateway to more effectively communicate climate change impacts on water resources in Indiana.

For simulating the hydro cycle, we first used the USDA Soil-Water Assessment Tool and statistically downscaled climate projections from an ensemble of 10 global climate models to simulate climate change impacts on hydrology in the Wabash River Basin. Results show that by the 2050s (2041-2070) there will be less stream flow in summer and fall and more stream flow in winter and spring. These seasonal changes will coincide with an increase in annual evapotranspiration and a decrease in summer soil moisture and ground water recharge. Overall, this research shows that summer water availability in Indiana is likely to decrease in the future – pointing to increased water management challenges in this historically water-rich region. Continued hydrological modeling work is aimed at incorporating 3-dimensional ground water flow into the model, to better capture the effects of climate changes on ground water quantity and quality.

The science gateway that is under development for this project utilizes Indiana University’s High Performance Computing cyberinfrastructure and the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. Utilities and scripts have been developed to automate climate change scenario modeling and post-processing of model results, creating a stream-lined process that can be used to analyze additional climate and land use scenarios. Model results can be explored through interactive maps, charts, and tables, enabling the science gateway to serve as a platform for future collaboration and service to a wide audience.