L. Kuil, G. Carr, A. Viglione, A. Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, G. Blöschl:
"Conceptualizing socio-hydrological drought processes: The case of the Maya collapse";
Water Resources Research, 52 (2016), 8; S. 6222 - 6242.

Kurzfassung englisch:
With population growth, increasing water demands and climate change the need to
understand the current and future pathways to water security is becoming more pressing. To contribute to
addressing this challenge, we examine the link between water stress and society through socio-
hydrological modeling. We conceptualize the interactions between an agricultural society with its
environment in a stylized way. We apply the model to the case of the ancient Maya, a population that
experienced a peak during the Classic Period (AD 600-830) and then declined during the ninth century. The
hypothesis that modest drought periods played a major role in the society´s collapse is explored. Simulating
plausible feedbacks between water and society we show that a modest reduction in rainfall may lead to an
80% population collapse. Population density and crop sensitivity to droughts, however, may play an equally
important role. The simulations indicate that construction of reservoirs results in less frequent drought
impacts, but if the reservoirs run dry, drought impact may be more severe and the population drop may be larger.

socio-hydrology/Ancient Maya/drought/vulnerability

"Offizielle" elektronische Version der Publikation (entsprechend ihrem Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

Zugeordnete Projekte:
Projektleitung Günter Blöschl:
Doktoratskolleg¿ Wasserwirtschaftliche Systeme

Erstellt aus der Publikationsdatenbank der Technischen Universität Wien.