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Hydrological analysis of extreme rain events in a medium-sized basin

Sarchani Sofia, Awol Frezer Seid, Tsanis Ioannis

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Year 2021
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation S. Sarchani, F. S. Awol, and I. Tsanis, “Hydrological analysis of extreme rain events in a medium-sized basin,” Appl. Sci., vol. 11, no. 11, May 2021, doi: 10.3390/app11114901.
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The hydrological response of a medium-sized watershed with both rural and urban characteristics was investigated through event-based modeling. Different meteorological event conditions were examined, such as events of high precipitation intensity, double hydrological peak, and mainly normal to wet antecedent moisture conditions. Analysis of the hydrometric features of the precipitation events was conducted by comparing the different rainfall time intervals, the total volume of water, and the precedent soil moisture. Parameter model calibration and validation were performed for rainfall events under similar conditions, examined in pairs, in order to verify two hydrological models, the lumped HEC-HMS (Hydrologic Engineering Center’s Hydrologic Modeling System model) and the semi-distributed HBV-light (a recent version of Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning model), at the exit of six individual gauged sub-basins. Model verification was achieved by using the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency and volume error index. Different time of concentration (Tc) formulas are better applied to the sub-watersheds with respect to the dominant land uses, classifying the Tc among the most sensitive parameters that influence the time of appearance and the magnitude of the peak modeled flow through the HEC-HMS model. The maximum water content of the soil box (FC) affects most the peak flow via the HBV-light model, whereas the MAXBAS parameter has the greatest effect on the displayed time of peak discharge. The modeling results show that the HBV-light performed better in the events that had less precipitation volume compared to their pairs. The event with the higher total precipitated water produced better results with the HEC-HMS model, whereas the rest of the two high precipitation events performed satisfactorily with both models. April to July is a flood hazard period that will be worsened with the effect of climate change. The suggested calibrated parameters for severe precipitation events can be used for the prediction of future events with similar features. The above results can be used in the water resources management of the basin.

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