Sensitivity of Non-Point Source Models to Net Rainfall

by W. T. Dickinson, Univ of Guelph, Canada,
R. P. Rudra, Univ of Guelph, Canada,
E. von Euw, Univ of Guelph, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: National Water Conference


A sensitivity analysis of the ANSWERS model was conducted to explore the possible impact on model outputs of discretizing rainfall input data into short time increments of various durations. The analysis was performed on the basis of application of the model to the Nissouri Creek Watershed in southern Ontario for nonuniform 1 hour test storms of 2, 5 and 10 year return periods. Each storm was discretized temporally in 5 ways: in 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 minute increments. Model outputs of runoff depth, peak runoff rate, maximum erosion rate and watershed sediment yield were found to be highly sensitive to the changes in rainfall time interval, the sensitivity varying from variable to variable and with storm magnitude.

Subject Headings: Sensitivity analysis | Rainfall duration | Watersheds | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Mathematical models | Rain water | Storms | Runoff | Ontario | Canada

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