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Modeling of Dynamic Runoff and Sediment Process at Small Watershed Scale

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009092.(doi:10.13031/2013.29804)
Authors:   Liqin Qu, Xiusheng Yang, Tingwu Lei
Keywords:   watershed, runoff and sediment process, finite element method, simulation.

An event based runoff and erosion process model was developed to analyze the runoff and sediment processes in watershed networks. In this model, watershed was divided into hillslopes and channels and a system mathematic model capable of simulating runoff, erosion and sediment transportation process in channels and hillslopes was established. The linear reservoir models of watershed response and rainfall momentum methods were used to simulate the runoff and erosion in distributed hillslopes. In the channel network system, the runoff and sediment processes were formulated in three main equations as mass conservation, momentums conservation, and sediment continuity. The hillslope and channel network systems are coupled by sink and sources items of channels mass and sediment continuity equations. The sources are calculated according to runoff and transported sediment from distributed hillslopes plots along the channels. Finite element method (FEM) was applied to numerically simulate runoff and sediment processes with Visual C++ Programming. ArcSWAT watershed delineation tool was adopted to obtain the Geographic information from the digital elevation model for element formation of finite element method and geographic parameters of model input. The outputs of the model included time and spatial dependent flow rates, sediment concentrations in watershed channels network. The study provided a useful tool to investigation of hydrologic and soil erosion model in watershed.

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