Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016TN116B

Investigating Changes of River Course of the Tennessee River and the Impact from Regional Climate Change

Institute: Tennessee
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $21,941 Total Non-Federal Funds: $45,549

Principal Investigators: Joshua Fu, Xinyi Dong

Abstract: Change of river course may significantly alter the water supply for agricultural farming, urban utility, and energy generation from dams. The Tennessee River provides water resource for multiple sates in Southeast US including Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Understanding the river course change of the Tennessee River is of special importance for the transboundary water management. But there has not been a systematic examination of river course change within the Tennessee River basin during the past decades. River course change is primarily driven by precipitation supply. In particular, massive runoff resulted from extreme precipitation may change the river course rapidly from year to year. Climate studies have indicated that extreme weather events such as heat wave and extreme precipitation are likely to intensify over North America in the future. So it is important to understand the impact of regional climate change on river course change during the past decade, and also probe into the potential changes of precipitation in the future. The investigation of regional climate impact on river course change can also provide information for water resource management or strategy design. We propose to investigate the changes of river course of the Tennessee River basin during the past 30 years from 1984 to 2014 with the Landsat satellite remote sensing product. The investigation will be conducted based on satellite products from Landsat. We will investigate the impact of regional climate change on river course based on modeling research with the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) reanalysis data, Community Earth System Model (CESM), and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modeling system. The ground-based meteorology observations from National Climate Data Center (NCDC) will also be utilized to facilitate the analysis. We will also evaluate the potential impact of future climate change on precipitation over the Tennessee River basin, to provide support information for water resource management of the Southeastern US. The objective of this study is to improve of the knowledge about changes of river course of the Tennessee River during the past 30 years (from 1985 to 2014) to provide information for water source management.