Combined Impact of Climate and Land Use Changes on Streamflow and Water Quality in Eastern Massachusetts, USA


Geography and Anthropology

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In this study, the combined impact of climate and land use changes on streamflow and water quality is analyzed by using a GIS-based watershed simulation model, AVGWLF, to simulate the future changes in streamflow and nitrogen load under different climate change and land use change scenarios in watersheds of eastern Massachusetts. The results show that climate change and land development have more impact on changing the seasonal distributions of the streamflow and nitrogen load than on altering average annual amounts of the streamflow and nitrogen load. The monthly streamflows in late fall and winter increase, while those in the summer months decrease, mainly affected by climate change. Nitrogen loads in late fall and winter months increase greatly, while those in spring and summer months have mixed responses affected by both climate and land use changes.