Publications by authors named "Hannu Lauri"

3 Publications

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The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers: How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Feb 17;649:601-609. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands.

The river flow regime and water resources are highly important for economic growths, flood security, and ecosystem dynamics in the Mekong basin - an important transboundary river basin in South East Asia. The river flow, although remains relatively unregulated, is expected to be increasingly perturbed by climate change and rapidly accelerating socioeconomic developments. Current understanding about hydrological changes under the combined impacts of these drivers, however, remains limited. This study presents projected hydrological changes caused by multiple drivers, namely climate change, large-scale hydropower developments, and irrigated land expansions by 2050s. We found that the future flow regime is highly susceptible to all considered drivers, shown by substantial changes in both annual and seasonal flow distribution. While hydropower developments exhibit limited impacts on annual total flows, climate change and irrigation expansions cause changes of +15% and -3% in annual flows, respectively. However, hydropower developments show the largest seasonal impacts characterized by higher dry season flows (up to +70%) and lower wet season flows (-15%). These strong seasonal impacts tend to outplay those of the other drivers, resulting in the overall hydrological change pattern of strong increases of the dry season flow (up to +160%); flow reduction in the first half of the wet season (up to -25%); and slight flow increase in the second half of the wet season (up to 40%). Furthermore, the cumulative impacts of all drivers cause substantial flow reductions during the early wet season (up to -25% in July), posing challenges for crop production and saltwater intrusion in the downstream Mekong Delta. Substantial flow changes and their consequences require careful considerations of future development activities, as well as timely adaptation to future changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.160DOI Listing
February 2019

Fluvial sediment supply to a mega-delta reduced by shifting tropical-cyclone activity.

Nature 2016 11 19;539(7628):276-279. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK.

The world's rivers deliver 19 billion tonnes of sediment to the coastal zone annually, with a considerable fraction being sequestered in large deltas, home to over 500 million people. Most (more than 70 per cent) large deltas are under threat from a combination of rising sea levels, ground surface subsidence and anthropogenic sediment trapping, and a sustainable supply of fluvial sediment is therefore critical to prevent deltas being 'drowned' by rising relative sea levels. Here we combine suspended sediment load data from the Mekong River with hydrological model simulations to isolate the role of tropical cyclones in transmitting suspended sediment to one of the world's great deltas. We demonstrate that spatial variations in the Mekong's suspended sediment load are correlated (r = 0.765, P < 0.1) with observed variations in tropical-cyclone climatology, and that a substantial portion (32 per cent) of the suspended sediment load reaching the delta is delivered by runoff generated by rainfall associated with tropical cyclones. Furthermore, we estimate that the suspended load to the delta has declined by 52.6 ± 10.2 megatonnes over recent years (1981-2005), of which 33.0 ± 7.1 megatonnes is due to a shift in tropical-cyclone climatology. Consequently, tropical cyclones have a key role in controlling the magnitude of, and variability in, transmission of suspended sediment to the coast. It is likely that anthropogenic sediment trapping in upstream reservoirs is a dominant factor in explaining past, and anticipating future, declines in suspended sediment loads reaching the world's major deltas. However, our study shows that changes in tropical-cyclone climatology affect trends in fluvial suspended sediment loads and thus are also key to fully assessing the risk posed to vulnerable coastal systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19809DOI Listing
November 2016

Decoding the drivers of bank erosion on the Mekong river: The roles of the Asian monsoon, tropical storms, and snowmelt.

Water Resour Res 2013 Apr 25;49(4):2146-2163. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Geography and Environment, University of Southampton Highfield, Southampton, UK.

We evaluate links between climate and simulated river bank erosion for one of the world's largest rivers, the Mekong. We employ a process-based model to reconstruct multidecadal time series of bank erosion at study sites within the Mekong's two main hydrological response zones, defining a new parameter, accumulated excess runoff (AER), pertinent to bank erosion. We employ a hydrological model to isolate how snowmelt, tropical storms and monsoon precipitation each contribute to AER and thus modeled bank erosion. Our results show that melt (23.9% at the upstream study site, declining to 11.1% downstream) and tropical cyclones (17.5% and 26.4% at the upstream and downstream sites, respectively) both force significant fractions of bank erosion on the Mekong. We also show (i) small, but significant, declines in AER and hence assumed bank erosion during the 20th century, and; (ii) that significant correlations exist between AER and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Of these modes of climate variability, we find that IOD events exert a greater control on simulated bank erosion than ENSO events; but the influences of both ENSO and IOD when averaged over several decades are found to be relatively weak. However, importantly, relationships between ENSO, IOD, and AER and hence inferred river bank erosion are not time invariant. Specifically, we show that there is an intense and prolonged epoch of strong coherence between ENSO and AER from the early 1980s to present, such that in recent decades derived Mekong River bank erosion has been more strongly affected by ENSO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wrcr.20205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709126PMC
April 2013
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