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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Linking Climate, Basin Morphology and Vegetation Characteristics to Fu’s Parameter in Data Poor Conditions

Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Water 2019, 11(11), 2333; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112333
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 2 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Techniques for Mapping and Assessing Surface Runoff)
The prediction of long term water balance components is not a trivial issue, even when empirical Budyko’s type approaches are used, because parameter estimation is often hampered by missing or poor hydrological data. In order to overcome this issue, we provided regression equations that link climate, morphological, and vegetation parameters to Fu’s parameter. Climate is here defined as a specific seasonal pattern of potential evapotranspiration and rain: five climatic scenarios have been considered to mimic different conditions worldwide. A weather generator has been used to create stochastic time series for the related climatic scenario, which in turn has been used as an input to a conceptual hydrological model to obtain long-term water balance components with low computational effort, while preserving fundamental process descriptions. The morphology and vegetation’s role in determining water partitioning process has been epitomized in four parameters of the conceptual model. Numerical simulations explored a large set of basins in the five climates. Results show that climate superimposes partitioning rules for a given basin; morphological and vegetation watershed properties, as conceptualized by model parameters, determine the Fu’s parameter within a given climate. A sensitive analysis confirmed that vegetation has the most influencing role in determining water partitioning rules, followed by soil permeability. Finally, linear regressions relating basin characteristics to Fu’s parameter have been obtained in the five climates and tested in a basin for each case, obtaining encouraging results. The small amount of data required and the very low computational effort of the method make this approach ideal for practitioners and hydrologists involved in annual runoff assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fu; climate; vegetation Fu; climate; vegetation
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Ruggiu, D.; Viola, F. Linking Climate, Basin Morphology and Vegetation Characteristics to Fu’s Parameter in Data Poor Conditions. Water 2019, 11, 2333.

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