Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/11681/43584
Title: Climate Change Associated Sediment Yield Changes on the Rio Grande in New Mexico: Specific Sediment Evaluation for Cochiti Dam and Lake
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Albuquerque District
Keywords: Climatic changes
Sedimentation and deposition
Hydrology
Flood control
Cochiti Dam (N.M.)
Rio Grande (Colo.-Mexico and Tex.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Albuquerque District.
Abstract: Climate change is expected to have significant effects on water resources availability in New Mexico in general, and in the Rio Grande basin specifically, through alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Warmer temperatures, particularly in winter, are expected to reduce the amount of winter precipitation that falls as snow and is stored in the snowpack, reduce snow water equivalence in the snowpack, and lead to earlier spring melting of the snowpack. These changes may not only impact surface water flows, but the interaction between surface water and ground water as well. Warmer temperatures are anticipated to both drive up evaporation rates and increase the length of the growing season, contributing to lower overall soil moisture levels even without changes in precipitation. Recent climate trends suggest these processes are already underway. Projections for precipitation are variable, primarily because there is great uncertainty about future changes to sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, which determine how much rain the Southwest gets over much of the year. In many models, winter precipitation declines because warming leads to the poleward expansion of subtropical deserts, pushing mid-latitude winter storms systems north of the catchment of the Rio Grande. However, models project wildly different futures for El Niño and La Niña cycles, some of which push the Southwest into permanent winter drought and others which create a permanent “El Niño” state in the eastern Pacific that actually increases winter precipitation in the Southwest. However, evapotranspiration increases are anticipated to outpace precipitation increases in the wettest models. A second uncertainty is whether hotter summer temperatures will drive a stronger summer monsoon, and if this monsoon will be able to tap into tropical cyclone moisture to produce large, late summer floods in the region. This study considers the potential impact of climate-induced hydrologic changes to the Rio Grande on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District’s flood control operations at Cochiti Dam and Lake, the major mainstem flood control structure in the upper basin. The specific concern being addressed is the relationship between changing climate conditions and reservoir sedimentation that might shorten the project lifetime or impact the flood control pool.
Description: Technical Report
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/11681/43584
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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