Physics-Based Simulation of Hydrologic Response and Sediment Transport in a Hilly-Gully Catchment with a Check Dam System on the Loess Plateau, China
Institute of Hydrology and Water Resources, Zhejiang University; Hangzhou 310058, China
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061161
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 2 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Modelling and Prediction on the Impact of Human Activities and Extreme Events on Environments)
Check dams are among of the most widespread and effective engineering structures for conserving water and soil in the Loess Plateau since the 1950s, and have significantly modified the local hydrologic responses and landforms. A representative small catchment was chosen as an example to study the influences of check dams. A physics-based distributed model, the Integrated Hydrology Model (InHM), was employed to simulate the impacts of check dam systems considering four scenarios (pre-dam, single-dam, early dam-system, current dam-system). The results showed that check dams significantly alter the water redistribution in the catchment and influence the groundwater table in different periods. It was also shown that gully erosion can be alleviated indirectly due to the formation of the expanding sedimentary areas. The simulated residual deposition heights (Δh) matched reasonably well with the observed values, demonstrating that physics-based simulation can help to better understand the hydrologic impacts as well as predicting changes in sediment transport caused by check dams in the Loess Plateau.