For urban watersheds, the storm sewer network provides indispensable data for flood modeling but often needs to be simplified to balance the conflict between the large amount of data and current computing power. The sensitivity of a flood simulation to the data precision of a storm sewer network needs to be explored to develop reasonable generalization strategies. In this study, the impact of using the stroke scaling method to generalize a storm sewer network on a flood simulation was analyzed in terms of the total inflow of the outfalls and flood results. The results of the three study basins showed that different complexities of a sewer network did not have a significant effect on the outfall’s total inflow for an area with a single drainage system but did for an area with multiple drainage systems. In addition, serious flooding was mainly distributed at the backbone pipes, which can be identified with the simplified sewer network. Several effective generalization strategies were developed for sewer networks that consider the distribution characteristics of the drainage system and application requirements. This study is theoretically important for better understanding the data sensitivity of flood modeling and simulation and practically important for improving the modeling efficiency and the accuracy of urban flood simulation.
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