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Water 2017, 9(10), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100719

Study on Applicability of Conceptual Hydrological Models for Flood Forecasting in Humid, Semi-Humid Semi-Arid and Arid Basins in China

1
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Research Center on Flood & Drought Disaster Reduction of the Ministry of Water Resources, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing IWHR Corporation, Beijing 100048, China
4
Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract

Flood simulation and forecasting in various types of watersheds is a hot issue in hydrology. Conceptual hydrological models have been widely applied to flood forecasting for decades. With the development of economy, modern China faces with severe flood disasters in all types of watersheds include humid, semi-humid semi-arid and arid watersheds. However, conceptual model-based flood forecasting in semi-humid semi-arid and arid regions is still challenging. To investigate the applicability of conceptual hydrological models for flood forecasting in the above mentioned regions, three typical conceptual models, include Xinanjiang (XAJ), mix runoff generation (MIX) and northern Shannxi (NS), are applied to 3 humid, 3 semi-humid semi-arid, and 3 arid watersheds. The rainfall-runoff data of the 9 watersheds are analyzed based on statistical analysis and information theory, and the model performances are compared and analyzed based on boxplots and scatter plots. It is observed the complexity of drier watershed data is higher than that of the wetter watersheds. This indicates the flood forecasting is harder in drier watersheds. Simulation results indicate all models perform satisfactorily in humid watersheds and only NS model is applicable in arid watersheds. Model with consideration of saturation excess runoff generation (XAJ and MIX) perform better than the infiltration excess-based NS model in semi-humid semi-arid watersheds. It is concluded more accurate mix runoff generation theory, more stable and efficient numerical solution of infiltration equation and rainfall data with higher spatial-temporal resolution are main obstacles for conceptual model-based flood simulation and forecasting. View Full-Text
Keywords: conceptual hydrological model; flood forecasting; storage excess; infiltration excess; mix runoff generation conceptual hydrological model; flood forecasting; storage excess; infiltration excess; mix runoff generation
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Kan, G.; He, X.; Ding, L.; Li, J.; Liang, K.; Hong, Y. Study on Applicability of Conceptual Hydrological Models for Flood Forecasting in Humid, Semi-Humid Semi-Arid and Arid Basins in China. Water 2017, 9, 719.

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