EXPLORING CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ON WATERSHED SEDIMENT YIELD AND LAND COVER-BASED MITIGATION MEASURES USING SWAT MODEL, RS AND GIS: CASE OF CAGAYAN RIVER BASIN, PHILIPPINES
Keywords: Climate Change, Land Cover Change, SWAT model, RS, GIS
Abstract. The impact of climate change in the Philippines was examined in the country's largest basin–the Cagayan River Basin–by predicting its sediment yield for a long period of time. This was done by integrating the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model, Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). A set of Landsat imageries were processed to include an atmospheric correction and a filling procedure for cloud and cloud-shadow infested pixels was used to maximize each downloaded scene for a subsequent land cover classification using Maximum Likelihood classifier. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM)-DEM was used for the digital elevation model (DEM) requirement of the model while ArcGIS™ provided the platform for the ArcSWAT extension, for storing data and displaying spatial data. The impact of climate change was assessed by varying air surface temperature and amount of precipitation as predicted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios. A Nash-Sutcliff efficiency (NSE) > 0.4 and coefficient of determination (R2) > 0.5 for both the calibration and validation of the model showed that SWAT model can realistically simulate the hydrological processes in the study area. The model was then utilized for land cover change and climate change analyses and their influence on sediment yield. Results showed a significant relationship exists among the changes in the climate regime, land cover distributions and sediment yield. Finally, the study suggested land cover distribution that can potentially mitigate the serious negative effects of climate change to a regional watershed's sediment yield.