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University of Canterbury (2013)

Flood modelling and predicting the effects of land use change on the flood hydrology of mountainous catchments in New Zealand using TopNet

Beran, Eugene

Titre : Flood modelling and predicting the effects of land use change on the flood hydrology of mountainous catchments in New Zealand using TopNet

Auteur : Beran, Eugene

Université de soutenance : University of Canterbury

Grade : Master of Engineering 2013

Résumé partiel
The management of New Zealand’s freshwater resources has come under increasing pressure from different industrial and environmental stakeholders. Land use change and the pressure it can put on water resources has been a significant issue regarding resource management in New Zealand. A significant mechanism driving land use change has been the growth of forestry, dairy farming, and other agricultural industries. Improvements in agricultural and forestry science and irrigation techniques have allowed new, previously less arable areas of New Zealand to be subject to land use change, such as the conversion of tussock grassland to pasture in steep, mountainous regions in the South Island. Studies regarding the effects of land use change in such catchments, especially with focus on flood hydrology, appear to be limited, despite the importance of managing catchment headwaters to minimise flood risk downstream.
The TopNet model was used in this research project to evaluate the potential effects of land use change on flood hydrology in mountain catchments. It is a semi-distributed continuous rainfall-runoff model developed by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). It has been widely used in New Zealand, and applications have included modelling water yield and the effect of climate change in catchment networks. However, it was not developed specifically for predicting flood flows. Hence, testing the model for flood peak prediction in mountainous catchments was also performed, and may show that TopNet can be a useful tool in resource management in New Zealand.
The Ahuriri and Pelorus River catchments were used in this investigation. Both are steep catchments located in the South Island. The Ahuriri River catchment, in the Waitaki Basin on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, is a semi-arid catchment dominated by tussock grassland. The surrounding catchments are heavily influenced by infrastructure for hydroelectric power (HEP) generation and more recently irrigation for dairy farming. The Pelorus River catchment is located at the northern end of the South Island. It is primarily covered in native forest, but adjacent catchments are subject to agricultural and forestry development.

Mots clés : topnet ; flood hydrology ; rainfall-runoff modelling ; land use change ; mountain hydrology ; New Zealand

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Page publiée le 16 novembre 2013, mise à jour le 13 juin 2018