A Synthesis of Space-time Variability in Multi-Component Flood Response
Yiwen Mei, Xinyi Shen, and Emmanouil N. Anagnostou
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Received: 22 May 2016 – Accepted for review: 02 Jun 2016 – Discussion started: 15 Jun 2016
Abstract. Catchment flood response consists of multiple components of flow generated by the heterogeneity of catchment surface. This study proposes an analytical framework built upon the Viglione et al. (2010a) to assess the dependence of catchment flood response on different flow components. The analytical framework is compared to simulations from a distributed hydrologic model. A large number of rainfall-runoff events from three catchments of Tar River basin in North Carolina are used to illustrate the analytical framework. Specifically, the framework is used to estimate three flood events characteristics (cumulative runoff volume, centroid and spreadness of hydrograph) through three corresponding framework parameters: the rainfall excess and the mean and variance of catchment response time. Results show that under the smooth topographic setups of the study area, the spatial and/or temporal correlation between rainfall and runoff generation are insignificant to flood response; delay in flood response due to runoff generation and routing are of equal importance; the shape of flood is mainly controlled by the variability in runoff generation stage but with non-negligible contribution from the runoff routing stage. Sensitivity tests show that the framework's main error source is the systematic underestimation of flood event's centroid and spreadness, while the random error is relatively low.
Mei, Y., Shen, X., and Anagnostou, E. N.: A Synthesis of Space-time Variability in Multi-Component Flood Response, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-255, in review, 2016.