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This paper proposes a spatial-temporal downscaling approach to construction of the intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) relations at a local site in the context of climate change and variability. More specifically, the proposed approach is based on a combination of a spatial downscaling method to link large-scale climate variables given by General Circulation Model (GCM) simulations with daily extreme precipitations at a site and a temporal downscaling procedure to describe the relationships between daily and sub-daily extreme precipitations based on the scaling General Extreme Value (GEV) distribution. The feasibility and accuracy of the suggested method were assessed using rainfall data available at eight stations in Quebec (Canada) for the 1961-2000 period and climate simulations under four different climate change scenarios provided by the Canadian (CGCM3) and UK (HadCM3) GCM models. Results of this application have indicated that it is feasible to link sub-daily extreme rainfalls at a local site with large-scale GCM-based daily climate predictors for the construction of the IDF relations for present (1961-1990) and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) periods at a given site under different climate change scenarios. In addition, it was found that annual maximum rainfalls downscaled from the HadCM3 displayed a smaller change in the future, while those values estimated from the CGCM3 indicated a large increasing trend for future periods. This result has demonstrated the presence of high uncertainty in climate simulations provided by different GCMs. In summary, the proposed spatial-temporal downscaling method provided an essential tool for the estimation of extreme rainfalls that are required for various climate-related impact assessment studies for a given region.


Session R65, Parameter Estimation: Optimization Applications in Water Resources



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