The vulnerability to floods in Africa has increased over the last decades, together with a modification of land cover as urbanized areas are increasing, agricultural practices are changing, and deforestation is increasing. Rainfall-runoff models that properly represent land use change and hydrologic response should be useful for the development of water management and mitigation plans. Although some studies have applied rainfall-runoff models in West Africa for flood modelling, there is still a need to develop such models, while many data are available and have not still been used for modelling improvement. The Ndiba catchment (16.2 km2
), which is located in an agricultural area in south Senegal, is such catchment, where a lot of hydro-climatic data has been collected between 1983 and 1992. Twenty-eight flood events have been extracted and modelled by two event-based rainfall-runoff models that are based on the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) or the Green-Ampt (GA) models for runoff, both coupled with the distributed Lag and Route (LR) for routing. Both models were able to reproduce the flood events after calibration, but they had to account for that the infiltration processes are highly dependent on the tillage of the soils and the growing of the crops during the rainy season, which made the initialization of the event-based models difficult. The most influent parameters for both models (the maximal water storage capacity for SCS, the hydraulic conductivity at saturation for Green-Ampt) were mostly related to the development stage of the vegetation, described by a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly. The SCS model performed finally better than the Green-Ampt model, because Green-Ampt was very sensitive to the variability of the hydraulic conductivity at saturation. The variability of the parameters of the models highlights the complexity of this kind of cultivated catchment, with highly non stationary conditions. The models could be improved by a better knowledge of the tillage practices, and a better integration of these practices in the parameters predictors.
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