Modeling of Surface Runoff in Xitiaoxi Catchment, China

Ligang Xu; Qi Zhang; Hengpeng Li; Viney, Neil R.; Jintao Xu; Jia Liu
August 2007
Water Resources Management;Aug2007, Vol. 21 Issue 8, p1313
Academic Journal
Xitiaoxi catchment is one of the most important catchments in the Taihu basin in China. Due to its significant contribution of surface runoff and associated nutrients input to Lake Taihu, understanding of the processes of surface runoff in this catchment is, therefore, of primary importance in quantifying water and nutrient balances for Lake Taihu. The generation of surface runoff in the catchment is mainly controlled by rainfall and land cover, so the variety of surface runoff in Xitiaoxi catchment is seasonal. Moreover, the annual change of surface runoff is distinct. Because of the diversity of land use and variety of hydrological characteristics, numerical simulation of the generation of surface runoff over this catchment is not straightforward. In this paper, attempts were made in applying the Large Scale Catchment Model (LASCAM) to Xitiaoxi catchment. The Xitiaoxi catchment is divided into 47 subcatchments connected via a river network based on topology. The model was first run in an optimization mode to calibrate the parameters against the observed runoff for the period of 1968-1977, and then was run in a prediction mode to try to reproduce the runoff for the next 10 years from 1978 to 1987. The model indicates that saturation excess runoff is probably the dominant process for the catchment. The modeling results indicate that water storage in shallow soils near the stream has a high correlation with daily rainfall, while the water storage changes in deep aquifers demonstrate an annual change trend, showing a rising level for wet seasons and a declining level for dry seasons. The success in modeling surface runoff leads to confidence in modeling nutrients transport as the next step of modeling work.


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