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Implication of remotely sensed data to incorporate land cover effect into a linear reservoir-based rainfall–runoff model

Nourani, Vahid, Fard, Ahmad Fakheri, Niazi, Faegheh, Gupta, Hoshin V., Goodrich, David C., Kamran, Khalil Valizadeh
Journal of hydrology 2015 v.529 pp. 94-105
Landsat, basins, geographic information systems, hydrograph, hydrologic models, land cover, land use, normalized difference vegetation index, remote sensing, subwatersheds, Arizona
This study investigates the effect of land use on the Geomorphological Cascade of Unequal linear Reservoirs (GCUR) model using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from remotely sensed data as a measure of land use. The proposed modeling has two important aspects: it considers the effects of both watershed geomorphology and land use/cover, and it requires only one parameter to be estimated through the use of observed rainfall–runoff data. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools are employed to determine the parameters associated with watershed geomorphology, and the Vegetation Index parameter is extracted from historical Landsat images.The modeling is applied via three formulations to a watershed located in Southeastern Arizona, which consists of two gaged sub-watersheds with different land uses. The results show that while all of the formulations generate forecasts of the basin outlet hydrographs with acceptable accuracy, only the two formulations that consider the effects of land cover (using NDVI) provide acceptable results at the outlets of the sub-watersheds.