University of Oulu

Abdollah Pirnia, Hamid Darabi, Bahram Choubin, Ebrahim Omidvar, Charles Onyutha, Ali Torabi Haghighi, Contribution of climatic variability and human activities to stream flow changes in the Haraz River basin, northern Iran, Journal of Hydro-environment Research, Volume 25, 2019, Pages 12-24, ISSN 1570-6443,

Contribution of climatic variability and human activities to stream flow changes in the Haraz River basin, northern Iran

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Author: Pirnia, Abdollah1; Darabi, Hamid2; Choubin, Bahram1;
Organizations: 1Department of Watershed Management Engineering, Sari Agriculture Science and Natural Resources University, P.O. Box, 737, Sari, Iran
2Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, P.O. Box 4300, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
3Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, University of Kashan, Iran
4Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1, Kyambogo, Uganda
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2021-05-04


In northern Iran’s Haraz River basin between 1975 and 2010, hydrological sensitivity, double mass curve, and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) methods were applied to monitoring and analysing changes in stream flow brought on by climatic variability and human activities. Applied to analyse trends in annual and seasonal runoff over this period, the sequential MK test showed a sudden change point in stream flow in 1994. The study period was, therefore, divided into two sub-periods: 1975–1994 and 1995–2010. The SWAT model showed obvious changes in water resource components between the two periods: in comparison to the period of 1975–1994, sub-watershed-scale stream flow and soil moisture decreased during 1995–2010. Changes in evapotranspiration were negligible compared to those in stream flow and soil moisture. The hydrological sensitivity method indicated that climatic variability and human activities contributed to 29.86% and 70.14%, respectively, of changes in annual stream flow, while the SWAT model placed these contributions at 34.78% and 65.21%, respectively. The double mass curve method indicated the contribution of climatic variability to stream flow changes to be 57.5% for the wet season and 22.87% for the dry season, while human activities contributed 42.5% and 77.13%, respectively. Accordingly, in the face of climatic variability, measures should be developed and implemented to mitigate its impacts and maintain eco-environmental integrity and water supplies.

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Series: Journal of hydro-environment research
ISSN: 1570-6443
ISSN-E: 1876-4444
ISSN-L: 1570-6443
Issue: 25
Pages: 12 - 24
DOI: 10.1016/j.jher.2019.05.001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Funding: The authors are grateful to the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO) and the Water Resources Management Company of the Ministry of Energy, Islamic Republic of Iran for the provision of meteorological and hydrological data.
Copyright information: © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Association for Hydro-environment Engineering and Research, Asia Pacific Division.