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Research on the initial abstraction – storage ratio and its effect on hydrograph simulation at a watershed in Greece

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Abstract:

The present research was conducted at an experimental watershed in the prefecture of Attica, Greece, using the selected observed rainfall-runoff events from a four-year time period. The objectives of this study were two: The first was the determination of the initial abstraction Ia – watershed storage S ratio. The average ratio (Ia/S) was equal to 0.014. The corresponding ratio at a subwatershed was 0.037. The difference was attributed to the different spatial distribution of landuses at the extent of the watershed. The second objective of the study was to examine the effect of the SCS empirical equation on hydrograph simulation. This was investigated through the comparison between the observed and two different simulated hydrographs at each one out of eighteen selected storm events. The simulated hydrographs were calculated by applying on the watershed's unit hydrograph two time distributions of excess rainfall that derived from the SCS method using two different approaches. In the first approach, the initial abstraction was determined from the observed rainfall-runoff data, while in the second, it was calculated using the SCS empirical equation. It was found that the SCS empirical equation estimates greater amount of initial abstraction and leads to the delayed start of the excess rainfall and the simulated runoff. This resulted in the overestimation of the peak flow rate and the time to peak at the majority of the storm events.

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