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This paper explores the utilisation of gauge rainfall and satellite-based precipitation product (SPP)-TRMM3B42, to develop IDF curves for the Fiji Islands. The study compares the application of remote sensing data against rain gauge (RG) data for two main stations, Nadi and Nausori (1991 to 2020). The accuracy of SPPs is evaluated through statistical analysis, employing continuous and categorical evaluation indices. The results indicate that TRMM3B42 tends to overestimate light precipitation and underestimate heavy rainfall in low elevations when compared to rain gauge data. Rainfall intensities derived from satellite data exhibit relative changes within ± 10%. This study also performs future projections. Two greenhouse emission scenarios, Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) 2–4.5 and 5–8.5, are employed for IDF curve projection. The analysis reveals that changes in IDF curves are more pronounced for short-duration rainfall as compared to high-duration rainfall. Additionally, higher emission scenarios demonstrate greater changes compared to lower scenarios. These findings emphasise the importance of accounting for climate change and future projections in designing urban infrastructure, particularly considering potential urban expansion and human settlements. This study helps in solving design problems associated with urban runoff control and disposal where knowing the rainfall intensities of different return periods with different durations is vital.

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The energy in agricultural systems is two-fold: transformation and utilization. The assessment and proper use of energy in agricultural systems is important to achieve economic benefits and overall sustainability. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the energy balance of crop and livestock production, net energy ratio (NER), and water use efficiency (WUE) of crops of a selected farm in Sri Lanka using the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. In order to assess the diversification, 18 crops and 5 livestock types were used. The data were obtained from farm records, personal contacts, and previously published literature. Accordingly, the energy balance in crop production and livestock production was −316.87 GJ ha−1 Year−1 and 758.73 GJ Year−1, respectively. The energy related WUE of crop production was 31.35 MJ m−3. The total energy balance of the farm was 736.2 GJ Year−1. The results show a negative energy balance in crop production indicating an efficient production system, while a comparatively higher energy loss was shown from the livestock sector. The procedure followed in this study can be used to assess the energy balance of diversified agricultural systems, which is important for agricultural sustainability. This can be further developed to assess the carbon footprint in agricultural systems.

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Soil degradation is a serious environmental issue in many regions of the world, and Sri Lanka is not an exception. Maha Oya River Basin (MORB) is one of the major river basins in tropical Sri Lanka, which suffers from regular soil erosion and degradation. The current study was designed to estimate the soil erosion associated with land use changes of the MORB. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was used in calculating the annual soil erosion rates, while the Geographic Information System (GIS) was used in mapping the spatial variations of the soil erosion hazard over a 30-year period. Thereafter, soil erosion hotspots in the MORB were also identified. The results of this study revealed that the mean average soil loss from the MORB has substantially increased from 2.81 t ha−1 yr−1 in 1989 to 3.21 t ha−1 yr−1 in 2021, which is an increment of about 14.23%. An extremely critical soil erosion-prone locations (average annual soil loss > 60 t ha−1 yr−1) map of the MORB was developed for the year 2021. The severity classes revealed that approximately 4.61% and 6.11% of the study area were in high to extremely high erosion hazard classes in 1989 and 2021, respectively. Based on the results, it was found that the extreme soil erosion occurs when forests and vegetation land are converted into agricultural and bare land/farmland. The spatial analysis further reveals that erosion-prone soil types, steep slope areas, and reduced forest/vegetation cover in hilly mountain areas contributed to the high soil erosion risk (16.56 to 91.01 t ha−1 yr−1) of the MORB. These high soil erosional areas should be prioritized according to the severity classes, and appropriate land use/land cover (LU/LC) management and water conservation practices should be implemented as recommended by this study to restore degraded lands.

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This study assessed the meteorological and hydrological droughts and their relationship over 30 years from 1985 to 2015 in the largest river basin (Mahaweli River Basin (MRB)) in Sri Lanka. Data from 14 rainfall, 5 temperature, and 5 streamflow stations in and near the MRB were used in the present study. Universal drought indices including Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) were used to assess meteorological droughts. The Standardized Streamflow Index (SSI) was used in investigating hydrological droughts. Correlations between meteorological and hydrological droughts were obtained, annual variations were observed (in terms of SPI, SPEI, and SSI), and the spatial distributions of selected drought events were analyzed. Our results revealed that the highest correlation was found in long-term dry conditions in the wet zone. In addition, some negative correlations found showed the opposite behavior of correlations. Furthermore, in annual variations of droughts, extreme droughts were recorded in the dry zone as maximum values, while results were more prominent in the wet zone. In addition, the spatial distribution performed using SPI, SPEI, and SSI showed an extremely dry condition in 2004. Our findings are beneficial for policymaking and for the decision-makers in assessing meteorological and hydrological drought risks in the future.

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Climate change has had a significant impact on the tourism industry in many countries, leading to changes in policies and adaptations to attract more visitors. However, there are few studies on the effects of climate change on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and income, despite its importance as a destination for tourists. A study was conducted to analyze the holiday climate index (HCI) for Sri Lanka’s urban and beach destinations to address this gap. The analysis covered historical years (2010–2018) and forecasted climatic scenarios (2021–2050 and 2071–2100), and the results were presented as colored maps to highlight the importance of HCI scores. Visual analysis showed some correlation between HCI scores and tourist arrivals, but the result of the overall correlation analysis was not significant. However, a country-specific correlation analysis revealed interesting findings, indicating that the changing climate can be considered among other factors that impact tourist arrivals. The research proposes that authorities assess the outcomes of the study and conduct further research to develop adaptive plans for Sri Lanka’s future tourism industry. The study also investigated potential scenarios for beach and urban destinations under two climate scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) for the near and far future, presenting the findings to tourism industry stakeholders for any necessary policy changes. As Sri Lanka expects more Chinese visitors in the future due to ongoing development projects, this study could be valuable for policymakers and industry stakeholders when adapting to changing climate and future tourist behavior. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of climate change on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, this study serves as a starting point for future investigations.

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Climate change, urbanization, and many anthropogenic activities have intensified the floods in today’s world. However, poor attention was given to mitigation strategies for floods in the developing world due to funding and technical limitations. Developing flood inundation maps from historical flood records would be an important task in mitigating any future flood damages. Therefore, this study presents the predictive capability of the Rainfall-Runoff-Inundation (RRI) model, a 2D coupled hydrology-inundation model, and to build flood inundation maps utilizing available ground observation and satellite remote sensing data for Kalu River, Sri Lanka. Despite the lack of studies in predicting flood levels, Kalu River is an annually flooded river basin in Sri Lanka. The comparative results between ground-based rainfall (GBR) measurement and satellite rainfall products (SRPs) from the IMERG satellite have shown that SRPs underestimate peak discharges compared to GBR data. The accuracy and the reliability of the model were assessed using ground-measured discharges with a high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.89) and Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (NSE = 0.86). Therefore, the developed RRI model can successfully be used to simulate the inundation of flood events in the KRB. The findings can directly be applied to the stakeholders.

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Climate change can have an influence on rainfall that significantly affects the magnitude frequency of floods and droughts. Therefore, the analysis of the spatiotemporal distribution, variability, and trends of rainfall over the Mahi Basin in India is an important objective of the present work. Accordingly, a serial autocorrelation, coefficient of variation, Mann–Kendall (MK) and Sen’s slope test, innovative trend analysis (ITA), and Pettitt’s test were used in the rainfall analysis. The outcomes were derived from the monthly precipitation data (1901–2012) of 14 meteorology stations in the Mahi Basin. The serial autocorrelation results showed that there is no autocorrelation in the data series. The rainfall statistics denoted that the Mahi Basin receives 94.8% of its rainfall (821 mm) in the monsoon period (June–September). The normalized accumulated departure from the mean reveals that the annual and monsoon rainfall of the Mahi Basin were below average from 1901 to 1930 and above average from 1930 to 1990, followed by a period of fluctuating conditions. Annual and monsoon rainfall variations increase in the lower catchment of the basin. The annual and monsoon rainfall trend analysis specified a significant declining tendency for four stations and an increasing tendency for 3 stations, respectively. A significant declining trend in winter rainfall was observed for 9 stations under review. Likewise, out of 14 stations, 9 stations denote a significant decrease in pre-monsoon rainfall. Nevertheless, there is no significant increasing or decreasing tendency in annual, monsoon, and post-monsoon rainfall in the Mahi Basin. The Mann–Kendall test and innovative trend analysis indicate identical tendencies of annual and seasonal rainfall on the basin scale. The annual and monsoon rainfall of the basin showed a positive shift in rainfall after 1926. The rainfall analysis confirms that despite spatiotemporal variations in rainfall, there are no significant positive or negative trends of annual and monsoon rainfall on the basin scale. It suggests that the Mahi Basin received average rainfall (867 mm) annually and in the monsoon season (821 mm) from 1901 to 2012, except for a few years of high and low rainfall. Therefore, this study is important for flood and drought management, agriculture, and water management in the Mahi Basin.

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Rainfall is one of the dominating climatic parameters that affect water availability. Trend analysis is of paramount significance to understand the behavior of hydrological and climatic variables over a long timescale. The main aim of the present study was to identify trends and analyze existing linkages between rainfall and streamflow in the Nilwala River Basin (NRB) of Southern Sri Lanka. An investigation of the trends, detection of change points and streamflow alteration, and linkage between rainfall and streamflow were carried out using the Mann–Kendall test, Sen’s slope test, Pettitt’s test, indicators of hydrological alteration (IHA), and Pearson’s correlation test. Selected rainfall-related extreme climatic indices, namely, CDD, CWD, PRCPTOT, R25, and Rx5, were calculated using the RClimdex software. Trend analysis of rainfall data and extreme rainfall indices demonstrated few statistically significant trends at the monthly, seasonal, and annual scales, while streamflow data showed non-significant trends, except for December. Pettitt’s test showed that Dampahala had a higher number of statistically significant change points among the six rainfall stations. The Pearson coefficient correlation showed a strong-to–very-strong positive relationship between rainfall and streamflow. Generally, both rainfall and streamflow showed non-significant trend patterns in the NRB, suggesting that rainfall had a higher impact on streamflow patterns in the basin. The historical trends of extreme climatic indices suggested that the NRB did not experience extreme climates. The results of the present study will provide valuable information for water resource planning, flood and disaster mitigation, agricultural operations planning, and hydropower generation in the NRB.

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Wetlands are simply areas that are fully or partially saturated with water. Not much attention has been given to wetlands in the past, due to the unawareness of their value to the general public. However, wetlands have numerous hydrological, ecological, and social values. They play an important role in interactions among soil, water, plants, and animals. The rich biodiversity in the vicinity of wetlands makes them invaluable. Therefore, the conservation of wetlands is highly important in today’s world. Many anthropogenic activities damage wetlands. Climate change has adversely impacted wetlands and their biodiversity. The shrinking of wetland areas and reducing wetland water levels can therefore be frequently seen. However, the opposite can be seen during stormy seasons. Since wetlands have permissible water levels, the prediction of wetland water levels is important. Flooding and many other severe environmental damage can happen when these water levels are exceeded. Therefore, the prediction of wetland water level is an important task to identify potential environmental damage. However, the monitoring of water levels in wetlands all over the world has been limited due to many difficulties. A Scopus-based search and a bibliometric analysis showcased the limited research work that has been carried out in the prediction of wetland water level using machine-learning techniques. Therefore, there is a clear need to assess what is available in the literature and then present it in a comprehensive review. Therefore, this review paper focuses on the state of the art of water-level prediction techniques of wetlands using machine-learning techniques. Nonlinear climatic parameters such as precipitation, evaporation, and inflows are some of the main factors deciding water levels; therefore, identifying the relationships between these parameters is complex. Therefore, machine-learning techniques are widely used to present nonlinear relationships and to predict water levels. The state-of-the-art literature summarizes that artificial neural networks (ANNs) are some of the most effective tools in wetland water-level prediction. This review can be effectively used in any future research work on wetland water-level prediction.

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River meandering and anabranching have become major problems in many large rivers that carry significant amounts of sediment worldwide. The morphodynamics of these rivers are complex due to the temporal variation of flows. However, the availability of remote sensing data and geographic information systems (GISs) provides the opportunity to analyze the morphological changes in river systems both quantitatively and qualitatively. The present study investigated the temporal changes in the river morphology of the Deduru Oya (river) in Sri Lanka, which is a meandering river. The study covered a period of 32 years (1989 to 2021), using Landsat satellite data and the QGIS platform. Cloud-free Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 satellite images were extracted and processed to extract the river mask. The centerline of the river was generated using the extracted river mask, with the support of semi-automated digitizing software (WebPlotDigitizer). Freely available QGIS was used to investigate the temporal variation of river migration. The results of the study demonstrated that, over the past three decades, both the bend curvatures and the river migration rates of the meandering bends have generally increased with time. In addition, it was found that a higher number of meandering bends could be observed in the lower (most downstream) and the middle parts of the selected river segment. The current analysis indicates that the Deduru Oya has undergone considerable changes in its curvature and migration rates.

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Satellite Rainfall Products (SRPs) are now in widespread use around the world as a better alternative for scarce observed rain gauge data. Upon proper analysis of the SRPs and observed rainfall data, SRP data can be used in many hydrological applications. This evaluation is very much necessary since, it had been found that their performances vary with different areas of interest. This research looks at the three prominent river basins; Malwathu, Deduru, and Kalu of Sri Lanka and evaluates six selected SRPs, namely, IMERG, TRMM 3B42, TRMM 3B42-RT, PERSIANN, PERSIANN-CCS, PERSIANN-CDR against 15+ years of observed rainfall data with the use of several indices. Four Continuous Evaluation Indices (CEI) such as Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Percentage Bias (PBIAS), Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient (r), and Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were used to evaluate the accuracy of SRPs and four Categorical Indices (CI) namely, Probability of Detection (POD), Critical Success Index (CSI), False Alarm Ratio (FAR) and Proportion Correct (PC) was used to evaluate the detection and prediction accuracy of the SRPs. Then, the Mann–Kendall Test (MK test) was used to identify trends in the datasets and Theil’s and Sens Slope Estimator to quantify the trends observed. The study of categorical indicators yielded varying findings, with TRMM-3B42 performing well in the dry zone and IMERG doing well in the wet zone and intermediate zone of Sri Lanka. Regarding the CIs in the three basins, overall, IMERG was the most reliable. In general, all three basins had similar POD and PC findings. The SRPs, however, underperformed in the dry zone in terms of CSI and FAR. Similar findings were found in the CEI analysis, as IMERG gave top performance across the board for all four CEIs in the three basins. The three basins’ overall weakest performer was PERSIANN-CCS. The trend analysis revealed that there were very few significant trends in the observed data. Even when significant trends were apparent, the SRP projections seldom captured them. TRMM-3B42 RT had the best trend prediction performance. However, Sen’s slope analysis revealed that while the sense of the trend was properly anticipated, the amplitude of the prediction significantly differed from that of the observed data.

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The application of numerical models to understand the behavioural pattern of a flood is widely found in the literature. However, the selection of an appropriate hydraulic model is highly essential to conduct reliable predictions. Predicting flood discharges and inundation extents are the two most important outcomes of flood simulations to stakeholders. Precise topographical data and channel geometries along a suitable hydraulic model are required to accurately predict floods. One-dimensional (1D) hydraulic models are now replaced by two-dimensional (2D) or combined 1D/2D models for higher performances. The Hydraulic Engineering Centre’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) has been widely used in all three forms for predicting flood characteristics. However, comparison studies among the 1D, 2D to 1D/2D models are limited in the literature to identify the better/best approach. Therefore, this research was carried out to identify the better approach using an example case study of the Kelani River basin in Sri Lanka. Two flood events (in 2016 and 2018) were separately simulated and tested for their accuracy using observed inundations and satellite-based inundations. It was found that the combined 1D/2D HEC-RAS hydraulic model outperforms other models for the prediction of flows and inundation for both flood events. Therefore, the combined model can be concluded as the better hydraulic model to predict flood characteristics of the Kelani River basin in Sri Lanka. With more flood studies, the conclusions can be more generalized.

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Hydrologic models are indispensable tools for water resource planning and management. Accurate model predictions are critical for better water resource development and management decisions. Single-site model calibration and calibrating a watershed model at the watershed outlet are commonly adopted strategies. In the present study, for the first time, a multi-site calibration for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in the Kelani River Basin with a catchment area of about 2340 km2 was carried out. The SWAT model was calibrated at five streamflow gauging stations, Deraniyagala, Kithulgala, Holombuwa, Glencourse, and Hanwella, with drainage areas of 183, 383, 155, 1463, and 1782 km2, respectively, using three distinct calibration strategies. These strategies were, utilizing (1) data from downstream and (2) data from upstream, both categorized here as single-site calibration, and (3) data from downstream and upstream (multi-site calibration). Considering the performance of the model during the calibration period, which was examined using the statistical indices R2 and NSE, the model performance at Holombuwa was upgraded from “good” to “very good” with the multi-site calibration technique. Simultaneously, the PBIAS at Hanwella and Kithulgala improved from “unsatisfactory” to “satisfactory” and “satisfactory” to “good” model performance, while the RSR improved from “good” to “very good” model performance at Deraniyagala, indicating the innovative multi-site calibration approach demonstrated a significant improvement in the results. Hence, this study will provide valuable insights for hydrological modelers to determine the most appropriate calibration strategy for their large-scale watersheds, considering the spatial variation of the watershed characteristics, thereby reducing the uncertainty in hydrologic predictions.

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In the present study, the streamflow simulation capacities between the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Hydrologic Engineering Centre-Hydrologic Modelling System (HEC-HMS) were compared for the Huai Bang Sai (HBS) watershed in northeastern Thailand. During calibration (2007–2010) and validation (2011–2014), the SWAT model demonstrated a Coefficient of Determination (R2) and a Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) of 0.83 and 0.82, and 0.78 and 0.77, respectively. During the same periods, the HEC-HMS model demonstrated values of 0.80 and 0.79, and 0.84 and 0.82. The exceedance probabilities at 10%, 40%, and 90% were 144.5, 14.5, and 0.9 mm in the flow duration curves (FDCs) obtained for observed flow. From the HEC-HMS and SWAT models, these indices yielded 109.0, 15.0, and 0.02 mm, and 123.5, 16.95, and 0.02 mm. These results inferred those high flows were captured well by the SWAT model, while medium flows were captured well by the HEC-HMS model. It is noteworthy that the low flows were accurately simulated by both models. Furthermore, dry and wet seasonal flows were simulated reasonably well by the SWAT model with slight under-predictions of 2.12% and 13.52% compared to the observed values. The HEC-HMS model under-predicted the dry and wet seasonal flows by 10.76% and 18.54% compared to observed flows. The results of the present study will provide valuable recommendations for the stakeholders of the HBS watershed to improve water usage policies. In addition, the present study will be helpful to select the most appropriate hydrologic model for humid tropical watersheds in Thailand and elsewhere in the world.

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Climate change is a serious and complex crisis that impacts humankind in different ways. It affects the availability of water resources, especially in the tropical regions of South Asia to a greater extent. However, the impact of climate change on water resources in Sri Lanka has been the least explored. Noteworthy, this is the first study in Sri Lanka that attempts to evaluate the impact of climate change in streamflow in a watershed located in the southern coastal belt of the island. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the climate change impact on streamflow of the Upper Nilwala River Basin (UNRB), Sri Lanka. In this study, the bias-corrected rainfall data from three Regional Climate Models (RCMs) under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs): RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were fed into the Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model to obtain future streamflow. Bias correction of future rainfall data in the Nilwala River Basin (NRB) was conducted using the Linear Scaling Method (LSM). Future precipitation was projected under three timelines: 2020s (2021–2047), 2050s (2048–2073), and 2080s (2074–2099) and was compared against the baseline period from 1980 to 2020. The ensemble mean annual precipitation in the NRB is expected to rise by 3.63%, 16.49%, and 12.82% under the RCP 4.5 emission scenario during the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, and 4.26%, 8.94%, and 18.04% under RCP 8.5 emission scenario during 2020s, 2050s and 2080s, respectively. The future annual streamflow of the UNRB is projected to increase by 59.30% and 65.79% under the ensemble RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios, respectively, when compared to the baseline scenario. In addition, the seasonal flows are also expected to increase for both RCPs for all seasons with an exception during the southwest monsoon season in the 2015–2042 period under the RCP4.5 emission scenario. In general, the results of the present study demonstrate that climate and streamflow of the NRB are expected to experience changes when compared to current climatic conditions. The results of the present study will be of major importance for river basin planners and government agencies to develop sustainable water management strategies and adaptation options to offset the negative impacts of future changes in climate.

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Rainforests are continuously threatened by various anthropogenic activities. In addition, the ever-changing climate severely impacts the world’s rainforest cover. The consequences of these are paid back to human at a higher cost. Nevertheless, little or no significant attention was broadly given to this critical environmental issue. The World Heritage Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka is originating news on its forest cover due to human activities and changing climates. The scientific analysis is yet to be presented on the related issues. Therefore, this paper presents a comprehensive study on the possible impact on the Sinharaja Rainforest due to changing climate. Landsat images with measured rainfall data for 30 years were assessed and the relationships are presented. Results showcased that the built-up areas have drastically been increased over the last decade in the vicinity and the declared forest area. The authorities found the issues are serious and a sensitive task to negotiate in conserving the forest. The rainfall around the forest area has not shown significant trends over the years. Therefore, the health of forest cover was not severely impacted. Nevertheless, six cleared-up areas were found inside the Singaraja Rainforest under no human interactions. This can be due to a possible influence from the changing climate. This was justified by the temporal variation of Land Surface Temperature (LST) assessments over these six cleared-up areas. Therefore, the World Heritage rainforest is threatened due to human activities and under the changing climate change. Hence, the conservation of the Sinharaja Rainforest would be challenging in the future.

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Major development projects along rivers, like reservoirs and other hydraulic structures, have changed not only river discharges but also sediment transport. Thus, changes in river planforms can be observed in such rivers. In addition, river centerline migrations can be witnessed. The Mahaweli River is the longest in Sri Lanka, having the largest catchment area among the 103 major river basins in the country. The river has been subjected to many development projects over the last 50 years, causing significant changes in the river discharge and sediment transport. However, no research has been carried out to evaluate the temporal and spatial changes in planforms. The current seeks to qualitatively analyze the river planform changes of the Lower Mahaweli River (downstream to Damanewewa) over the past 30 years (from 1991 to 2021) and identify the major planform features and their spatiotemporal changes in the lower Mahaweli River. Analyzing the changes in rivers requires long-term data with high spatial resolution. Therefore, in this research, remotely sensed Landsat satellite data were used to analyze the planform changes of Lower Mahaweli River with a considerably high resolution (30 m). These Landsat satellite images were processed and analyzed using the QGIS mapping tool and a semi-automated digitizing tool. The results show that major changes in river Mahaweli occurred mainly in the most downstream sections of the selected river segment. Further, the river curvature was also comparatively high downstream of the river. An oxbow lake formation was observed over time in the most downstream part of the Mahaweli River after 2011. Centerline migration rates were also calculated with the generated river centerlines. It was found that the rates were generally lower than about 30 m per year, except for at locations where river meandering was observed. The main limitations of this study were the possible misclassifications due to the resolution of images and obstructions caused by cloud cover in the Landsat images. To achieve more accurate estimates, this study could be developed further with quantitative mathematical analysis by also considering the sediment dynamics of the Mahaweli River.

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Satellite-based precipitation products, (SbPPs) have piqued the interest of a number of researchers as a reliable replacement for observed rainfall data which often have limited time spans and missing days. The SbPPs possess certain uncertainties, thus, they cannot be directly used without comparing against observed rainfall data prior to use. The Kelani river basin is Sri Lanka’s fourth longest river and the main source of water for almost 5 million people. Therefore, this research study aims to identify the potential of using SbPPs as a different method to measure rain besides using a rain gauge. Furthermore, the aim of the work is to examine the trends in precipitation products in the Kelani river basin. Three SbPPs, precipitation estimation using remotely sensed information using artificial neural networks (PERSIANN), PERSIANN-cloud classification system (CCS), and PERSIANN-climate data record (CDR) and ground observed rain gauge daily rainfall data at nine locations were used for the analysis. Four continuous evaluation indices, namely, root mean square error (RMSE), (percent bias) PBias, correlation coefficient (CC), and Nash‒Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) were used to determine the accuracy by comparing against observed rainfall data. Four categorical indices including probability of detection (POD), false alarm ratio (FAR), critical success index (CSI), and proportional constant (PC) were used to evaluate the rainfall detection capability of SbPPs. Mann‒Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were used to identifying whether a trend was present while the magnitudes of these were calculated by Sen’s slope. PERSIANN-CDR performed well by showing better performance in both POD and CSI. When compared to observed rainfall data, the PERSIANN product had the lowest RMSE value, while all products indicated underestimations. The CC and NSE of all three products with observed rainfall data were also low. Mixed results were obtained for the trend analysis as well. The overall results showed that all three products are not a better choice for the chosen study area.

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Understanding the changes in climate and land use/land cover (LULC) over time is important for developing policies for minimizing the socio-economic impacts of riverine floods. The present study evaluates the influence of hydro-climatic factors and anthropogenic practices related to LULC on floods in the Kelani River Basin (KRB) in Sri Lanka. The gauge-based daily precipitation, monthly mean temperature, daily discharges, and water levels at sub-basin/basin outlets, and both surveyed and remotely sensed inundation areas were used for this analysis. Flood characteristics in terms of mean, maximum, and number of peaks were estimated by applying the peak over threshold (POT) method. Nonparametric tests were also used to identify the climatic trends. In addition, LULC maps were generated over the years 1988–2017 using Landsat images. It is observed that the flood intensities and frequencies in the KRB have increased over the years. However, Deraniyagala and Norwood sub-basins have converted to dry due to the decrease in precipitation, whereas Kithulgala, Holombuwa, Glencourse, and Hanwella showed an increase in precipitation. A significant variation in atmospheric temperature was not observed. Furthermore, the LULC has mostly changed from vegetation/barren land to built-up in many parts of the basin. Simple correlation and partial correlation analysis showed that flood frequency and inundation areas have a significant correlation with LULC and hydro-climatic factors, especially precipitation over time. The results of this research will therefore be useful for policy makers and environmental specialists to understand the relationship of flood frequencies with the anthropogenic influences on LULC and climatic factors.