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Application of principal component analysis in grouping geomorphic parameters of a watershed for hydrological modeling

Sharma, S. K., Gajbhiye, S., Tignath, S.
Appl Water Sci 2015 v.5 no.1 pp. 89-96
Nala, drainage, hydrologic models, principal component analysis, rivers, runoff, sediment yield, subwatersheds, texture, variance, India
Principal component analysis has been applied to 13 dimensionless geomorphic parameters on 8 sub-watersheds of Kanhiya Nala watershed tributary of Tons River located in Part of Panna and Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, India, to group the parameters under different components based on significant correlations. Results of principal component analysis of 13 geomorphic parameters clearly reveal that some of these parameters are strongly correlated with the components but texture ratio and hypsometric integral do not show correlation with any of the component. So they have been screened out of analysis. The principal component loading matrix obtained using correlation matrix of eleven parameters reveals that first three components together account for 93.71 % of the total explained variance. Therefore, principal component loading is applied to get better correlation and clearly group the parameters in physically significant components. Based on the properties of the geomorphic parameters, three principal components were defined as drainage, slope or steepness and shape components. One parameter each from the significant components may form a set of independent parameters at a time in modeling the hydrologic responses such as runoff and sediment yield from small watersheds.