Model Complexity Required to Maintain Hydrologic Response

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by D. C. Goodrich, Univ of Arizona, United States,
D. A. Woolhiser, Univ of Arizona, United States,
S. Sorooshian, Univ of Arizona, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering:

Abstract: An increasing number of practitioners are using distributed hydrologic models employing kinematic routing. Watersheds are typically represented by a set of overland flow plane and channel elements, yet no guidelines exist for determining how complex the model representation must be. A small semiarid watershed was divided into plane and channel segments using a large scale topographic map. A kinematic rainfall-runoff model was used to obtain runoff hydrographs for the watershed representation for three rainfall events. Methodology was developed to aggregate model elements into a smaller number of equivalent elements. Model performance at various levels of aggregation was measured. Model aggregation for the study basin was readily accomplished for small floods.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Mathematical models | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Watersheds | Rain water | Kinematics | Channel flow | Runoff |

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