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Modelling the impact of urbanisation on flood runoff volume

By Thomas Rodding Kjeldsen


In this study, a relatively simple and intuitive extension to an event-based lumped conceptual rainfall-runoff model, the revitalised flood hydrograph (ReFH) model, is introduced and shown to improve model performance on a heavily urbanised catchment. The extension does not affecting model performance on a rural catchment. The hydrological losses in the ReFH model are calculated based on a percentage runoff type model, initially developed for use in rural catchments and relating losses to soil moisture content, soil moisture capacity and rainfall. By assuming a fixed percentage runoff of 70% from the urban (impervious) parts of the catchment, an overall improvement in predictive ability of the extended urban model is observed on the heavily urbanised catchment. Model performance is generally found to be improved more when considering events occurring with low initial soil moisture content than for event associated with higher initial soil moisture content. A sensitivity analysis indicated that the urban ReFH loss-model is relatively robust with regards to percentage runoff and imperviousness of the urban area

Topics: Hydrology
Publisher: Thomas Telford
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1680/wama.2009.162.5.329
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