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Modeling Hydrological Impact of Glacier Retreat in Bolivian Andes Under Changing Climate

Author(s): Tsuyoshi Kinouchi; Javier Mendoza; Jose Luna

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Keywords: Semi-distributed conceptual model; Runoff analysis; Tropical glaciers; Cordillera Real; Climate change

Abstract: A semi-distributed conceptual hydrological model was developed and applied to three partially glacierized catchments in the tropical Andes, Bolivia. With calibrated parameters, the model succeeded in reproducing the observed seasonal variations of daily runoff. Simulated results of water balance suggested that about 39%of the annual total runoff from the Huayna Potosi catchment is contributed from glacierized areas due to glacier melt and snowmelt. On the contrary, the contribution from glacierized areas in the Tuni catchment and the Condoriri catchment was calculated to be 15%and 13%, respectively. The long-term change of glacierized area and runoff was predicted by the model until 2050 under different climate scenarios. The results indicate that the glacier continues to shrink by 2050 and seasonal variation of runoff is strengthened by the possible increase in air temperature.

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Year: 2014

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