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Impact of grid resolution on the integrated and distributed response of a coupled surface-subsurface hydrological model for the des Anglais catchment, Quebec

Sulis, Mauro; Paniconi, Claudio; Camporese, Matteo (2011). Impact of grid resolution on the integrated and distributed response of a coupled surface-subsurface hydrological model for the des Anglais catchment, Quebec Hydrological Processes , vol. 25 , nº 12. p. 1853-1865. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7941.

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Résumé

Digital elevation models (DEMs) at different resolutions (180, 360, and 720 m) are used to examine the impact of different levels of landscape representation on the hydrological response of a 690‐km² catchment in southern Quebec. Frequency distributions of local slope, plan curvature, and drainage area are calculated for each grid size resolution. This landscape analysis reveals that DEM grid size significantly affects computed topographic attributes, which in turn explains some of the differences in the hydrological simulations. The simulations that are then carried out, using a coupled, process‐based model of surface and subsurface flow, examine the effects of grid size on both the integrated response of the catchment (discharge at the main outlet and at two internal points) and the distributed response (water table depth, surface saturation, and soil water storage). The results indicate that discharge volumes increase as the DEM is coarsened, and that coarser DEMs are also wetter overall in terms of water table depth and soil water storage. The reasons for these trends include an increase in the total drainage area of the catchment for larger DEM cell sizes, due to aggregation effects at the boundary cells of the catchment, and to a decrease in local slope and plan curvature variations, which in turn limits the capacity of the watershed to transmit water downslope and laterally. The results obtained also show that grid resolution effects are less pronounced during dry periods when soil moisture dynamics are mostly controlled by vertical fluxes of evaporation and percolation.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: surface‐subsurface hydrology; coupled model; runoff; discharge; soil water storage; sensitivity analysis; grid resolution
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 19 nov. 2020 21:41
Dernière modification: 19 nov. 2020 21:41
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/10578

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