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A strip model approach to parameterize a coupled green-ampt kinematic wave model

Paige, G.B., Stone, J.J., Guertin, D.P., Lane, L.J.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association 2002 v.38 no.5 pp. 1363
rangelands, watersheds, infiltration (hydrology), hydrologic models, simulation models, rain intensity, rainfall simulators, runoff, water erosion, canopy, vegetation cover, soil water content, Arizona
Infiltration processes at the plot scale are often described and modeled using a single effective hydraulic conductivity (Ke) value. This can lead to errors in runoff and erosion prediction. An integrated field measurement and modeling study was conducted to evaluate: (1) the relationship among rainfall intensity, spatially variable soil and vegetation characteristics, and infiltration processes; and (2) how this relationship could be modeled using Green and Ampt and a spatially distributed hydrologic model. Experiments were conducted using a newly developed variable intensity rainfall simulator on 2 m by 6 m plots in a rangeland watershed in southeastern Arizona. Rainfall application rates varied between 50 and 200 mm/hr. Results of the rainfall simulator experiments showed that the observed hydrologic response changed with changes in rainfall intensity and that the response varied with antecedent moisture condition. A distributed process based hydrologic simulation model was used to model the plots at different levels of hydrologic complexity. The measurement and simulation model results show that the rainfall runoff relationship cannot be accurately described or modeled using a single Ke value at the plot scale. Multi-plane model configurations with infiltration parameters based on soil and plot characteristics resulted in a significant improvement over single-plane configurations.