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Imperial College London (2008)

Rainfall-Runoff Modelling in Arid Areas

Al-Qurashi, Aisha Mufti AI-Sayyid Hassan

Titre : Rainfall-Runoff Modelling in Arid Areas

Auteur : Aisha Mufti Al-Sayyid Hassan Al-Qurashi

Université de soutenance : University of London

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2008

The Wadi Dhuliel catchment/ North east Jordan, as any other arid area has distinctive hydrological features with limited water resources. The hydrological regime is characterized by high variability of temporal and spatial rainfall distributions, flash floods, absence of base flow, and high rates of evapotranspiration. The aim of this Ph.D. thesis was to apply lumped and distributed models to simulate stream flow in the Wadi Dhuliel arid catchment. Intensive research was done to estimate the spatial and temporal rainfall distributions using remote sensing. Because most rainfall-runoff models were undertaken for other climatic zones, an attempt was made to study limitations and challenges and improve rainfall-runoff modeling in arid areas in general and for the Wadi Dhuliel in particular. The thesis is divided into three hierarchically ordered research topics. In the first part and research paper, the metric conceptual IHACRES model was applied to daily and storm events time scales, including data from 19 runoff events during the period 1986-1992. The IHACRES model was extended for snowfall in order to cope with such extreme events. The performance of the IHACRES model on daily data was rather poor while the performance on the storm events scale shows a good agreement between observed and simulated streamflow. The modeled outputs were expected to be sensitive when the observed flood was relatively small. The optimum parameter values were influenced by the length of a time series used for calibration and event specific changes. In the second research paper, the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP_MVK+) dataset was used to evaluate the precipitation rates over the Wadi Dhuliel arid catchment for the period from January 2003 to March 2008. Due to the scarcity of the ground rain gauge network, the detailed structure of the rainfall distribution was inadequate, so an independent from interpolation techniques was used. Three meteorological stations and six rain gauges were used to adjust and compare with GSMaP_MVK+ estimates. Comparisons between GSMaP_MVK+ measurements and ground rain gauge records show distinct regions of correlation, as well as areas where GSMaP_MVK+ systematically over- and underestimated ground rain gauge records. A multiple linear regression (MLR) model was used to derive the relationship between rainfall and GSMaP_MVK+ in conjunction with temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. The MLR equations were defined for the three meteorological stations. The ‘best’ fit of the MLR model for each station was chosen and used to interpolate a multiscale temporal and spatial distribution. Results show that the rainfall distribution over the Wadi Dhuliel is characterized by clear west-east and north-south gradients. Estimates from the monthly MLR model were more reliable than estimates obtained using daily data. The adjusted GSMaP_MVK+ dataset performed well in capturing the spatial patterns of the rainfall at monthly and annual time scales, while daily estimation showed some weakness for light and moderate storms. In the third research paper, the HEC-HMS and IHACRES rainfall runoff models were applied to simulate a single streamflow event in the Wadi Dhuliel catchment that occurred in 30- 31.01.2008. Both models are considered suitable for arid conditions. The HEC-HMS model application was done in conjunction with the HEC-GeoHMS extension in ArcView 3.3. Streamflow estimation was performed on hourly data. The aim of this study was to develop a new framework of rainfall-runoff model applications in arid catchment by integrating a readjusted satellite derived rainfall dataset (GSMaP_MVK+) to determine the location of the rainfall storm. Each model has its own input data sets. HEC-HMS input data include soil type, land use/land cover map, and slope map. IHACRES input data sets include hourly rainfall and temperature. The model was calibrated and validated using observed stream flow data collected from Al-Za’atari discharge station. IHACRES shows some weaknesses, while the flow comparison between the calibrated streamflow results agrees well with the observed streamflow data of the HEC-HMS model. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (Ef) for both models was 0.51, and 0.88 respectively. The application of HEC-HMS model in this study is considered to be satisfactory


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