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Academic – Evaluation of the Impact of Land Use Changes on Soil Erosion in the Tropical Maha Oya River Basin
Academic – Trends and Variabilities in Rainfall and Streamflow: A Case Study of the Nilwala River Basin in Sri Lanka
Academic – Analysis of Meandering River Morphodynamics Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data—An Application in the Lower Deduru Oya (River), Sri Lanka
Vindhya Basnayaka, Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, Miyuru Gunathilake, ...
AuthorsVindhya Basnayaka Jayanga T. Samarasinghe Miyuru Gunathilake Nitin Muttil Dileepa C. Hettiarachchi Amila Abeynayaka Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Analysis of recent trends and variability of temperature and relative humidity over Sri Lanka
Academic – Appraisal of Satellite Rainfall Products for Malwathu, Deduru, and Kalu River Basins, Sri Lanka
Helani Perera, Nipuna Senaratne, Miyuru Gunathilake, ...
AuthorsHelani Perera Nipuna Senaratne Miyuru Gunathilake Nitin Mutill Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Comparing Combined 1D/2D and 2D Hydraulic Simulations Using High-Resolution Topographic Data: Examples from Sri Lanka—Lower Kelani River Basin
Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, Vindhya Basnayaka, Miyuru Gunathilake, ...
AuthorsJayanga T. Samarasinghe Vindhya Basnayaka Miyuru Gunathilake Hazi M. Azamathulla Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Comparison of Calibration Approaches of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model in a Tropical Watershed
Randika K. Makumbura, Miyuru Gunathilake, Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, ...
AuthorsRandika K. Makumbura Miyuru Gunathilake Jayanga T. Samarasinghe Remegio Confesor Nitin Muttil Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Comparison of Two Hydrological Models, HEC-HMS and SWAT in Runoff Estimation: Application to Huai Bang Sai Tropical Watershed, Thailand
Imiya M. Chathuranika, Miyuru Gunathilake, Pavithra K. Baddewela, ...
AuthorsImiya M. Chathuranika Miyuru Gunathilake Pavithra K. Baddewela Erandi Sachinthanie Mukand S. Babel Sangam Shrestha Manoj K. Jha Upaka S. Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Evaluation of Future Streamflow in the Upper Part of the Nilwala River Basin (Sri Lanka) under Climate Change
Imiya M. Chathuranika, Miyuru Gunathilake, Hazi Md. Azamathulla, ...
AuthorsImiya M. Chathuranika Miyuru Gunathilake Hazi Md. Azamathulla Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Evaluation of Satellite Rainfall Products over the Mahaweli River Basin in Sri Lanka
Helani Perera, Shalinda Fernando, Miyuru Gunathilake, ...
AuthorsHelani Perera Shalinda Fernando Miyuru Gunathilake T. A. J. G. Sirisena Upaka Rathnayake
No abstract has been registered
Academic – Impact of Climate Change and Variability on Spatiotemporal Variation of Forest Cover; World Heritage Sinharaja Rainforest, Sri Lanka
Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, Miyuru Gunathilake, Randika K. Makubura, ...
AuthorsJayanga T. Samarasinghe Miyuru Gunathilake Randika K. Makubura Shanika M.A. Arachchi Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Planform Changes in the Lower Mahaweli River, Sri Lanka Using Landsat Satellite Data
Vindhya Basnayaka, Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, Miyuru Gunathilake, ...
AuthorsVindhya Basnayaka Jayanga T. Samarasinghe Miyuru Gunathilake Nitin Muttil Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – Statistical Evaluation and Trend Analysis of ANN Based Satellite Products (PERSIANN) for the Kelani River Basin, Sri Lanka
Helani Perera, Miyuru Gunathilake, Ravindu Panditharathne, ...
AuthorsHelani Perera Miyuru Gunathilake Ravindu Panditharathne Najib Al-mahbashi Upaka Rathnayake
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.
Academic – The Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Land-use Changes on Flood Characteristics: The Case Study of the Kelani River Basin, Sri Lanka
Jayanga T. Samarasinghe, Randika K. Makumbura, Charuni Wickramarachchi, ...
AuthorsJayanga T. Samarasinghe Randika K. Makumbura Charuni Wickramarachchi Jeewanthi Sirisena Miyuru Gunathilake Nitin Muttil Fang Yenn Teo Upaka Rathnayake
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.