Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geological Sciences
Flood prone communities often lack predictive hazard maps necessary to inform public policy and efforts aimed at reducing household risks. This study evaluated the independent and combined effects of future climate and land use change scenarios on hydrologic response. I modeled changes in peak flows, volume, and timing between 2020 and 2100 using a large-scale (16,148 km2) physics-based distributed hydrologic model of the Neuse River watershed and mapped the resulting flood depth and extent in Goldsboro, NC. I find that, in general, the effects of climate change on peak stream flow are greater than the effects of land use change; however, the role of land use change on discharge is spatially heterogeneous and dependent on localized patterns of land use change. In Goldsboro, the combined future climate and land use projections result in at least a five-fold increase in building exposure, with the greatest increases occurring for medium-sized storms.