The application of hydrologic and hydrodynamic models in flash flood hazard assessment is mainly limited by the availability of robust monitoring systems and long-term hydro-meteorological observations. Nevertheless, several studies have demonstrated that coupled modeling approaches based on event sampling (short-term observations) may cope with the lack of observed input data. This study evaluated the use of storm events and flood-survey reports to develop and validate a modeling framework for flash flood hazard assessment in data-scarce watersheds. Specifically, we coupled the hydrologic modeling system (HEC-HMS) and the Nays2Dflood hydrodynamic solver to simulate the system response to several storm events including one, equivalent in magnitude to a 500-year event, that flooded the City of Tena (Ecuador) on 2 September, 2017. Results from the coupled approach showed satisfactory model performance in simulating streamflow and water depths (0.40 ≤ Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient ≤ 0.95; −3.67% ≤ Percent Bias ≤ 23.4%) in six of the eight evaluated events, and a good agreement between simulated and surveyed flooded areas (Fit Index = 0.8) after the 500-year storm. The proposed methodology can be used by modelers and decision-makers for flood impact assessment in data-scarce watersheds and as a starting point for the establishment of flood forecasting systems to lessen the impacts of flood events at the local scale.
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