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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Hydrological sensitivity analysis to LUCC in Tropical Mountainous Environment

Mauricio Rincón-Romero
Ingeniería Civil y Geomática, Universidad del Valle - Colomb

Mark Mulligan
Department of Geography, King's College London - UK

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     Last modified: August 10, 2006

The research objective was to determine the effects of Land Use and Cover Change (LUCC) pattern on the hydrological cycle, in particular evaluating the hydrological sensitivity of overland flow and erosion to LUCC and the spatial variability of this sensitivity in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest (TMCF). Small catchment was selected with this purpose, at southwest of Colombia, near of Pacific coast.

Complexity of environmental TMCF behaviour is currently studied to increase knowledge moreover taking into account the effects of Global Climate Change (GCC). Biodiversity in both fauna and flora are special subject research worldwide. Environmental change on this particular environment has strong effect when LUCC occurs, mainly where agricultural frontier move boundaries of rainforest and also where illicit crops increases land demand.

Five LUCC scenarios with different land conversion were built to be including in a special dynamic distributed hydrological model as surface land parameters changes. Model was designed for this particular environment running at one-hour time step for a full year simulation period. Model runs on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) platform with raster spatial structure with 25m pixel size resolution.

Hydrological variables were summarised after several simulation were some of specific parameters were changed to produce sensitivity changes results. Sensitivity analysis was carryout to identify the main effect of LUCC on the hydrological cycle on this fragile ecosystem.

This is considered as the first step on the watershed simulation to integrated several additional aspect in the model, such social, cultural, political and economic issues, in order to produce a power tool as decision support system on the catchment planning task. This initiative belong to the proposal for Applied Geomatic Laboratory for Complex Systems at Universidad del Valle – Colombia.

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