The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B8
28 Jul 2012
 | 28 Jul 2012

Runoff simulation using distributed hydrological modeling approach, remote sensing and GIS techniques: A case study from an Indian agricultural watershed

V. M. Chowdary, V. R. Desai, M. Gupta, A. Jeyaram, and Y. V. N. K. Murthy

Keywords: Distributed hydrological model, GIS, Remote sensing, Curve number, Muskingum-Cunge technique

Abstract. Distributed hydrological modeling has the capability of simulating distributed watershed basin processes, by dividing a heterogeneous and complex land surface divided into computational elements such as Hydrologic Response Units (HRU), grid cell or sub watersheds. The present study was taken up to simulate spatial hydrological processes from a case study area of Kansavati watershed in Purulia district of West Bengal, India having diverse geographical features using distributed hydrological modelling approach. In the present study, overland flow in terms of direct runoff from storm rainfall was computed using USDA Soil Conservation Services (SCS) curve number technique and subsequently it served as input to channel routing model. For channel flow routing, Muskingum-Cunge flood routing technique was used, specifically to route surface runoff from the different sub watershed outlet points to the outlet point of the watershed. Model parameters were derived for each grid cell either from remote sensing data or conventional maps under GIS environment. For distributed approach, validation show reasonable fit between the simulated and measured data and CMR value in all the cases is negative and ranges from -0.1 to - 0.3. Further, this study investigates the effect of cell size on runoff simulation for different grid cell sizes of 23, 46, 92, 184, 368, 736, 1472 m resolution. The difference between simulated and observed runoff values increases with the increase of grid size beyond 184 m more prominently. Further, this model can be used to evaluate futuristic water availability scenarios for an agricultural watershed in eastern India.