Critical scales to explain urban hydrological response: an application in Cranbrook, London

Cristiano, Elena; ten Veldhuis, Marie-Claire; Gaitan, Santiago; Ochoa Rodriguez, Susana; van de Giesen, Nick

Rainfall variability in space and time, in relation to catchment characteristics and model complexity, plays an important role in explaining the sensitivity of hydrological response in urban areas. In this work we present a new approach to classify rainfall variability in space and time and we use this classification to investigate rainfall aggregation effects on urban hydrological response. Nine rainfall events, measured with a dual polarimetric X-Band radar instrument at the CAESAR site (Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research, NL), were aggregated in time and space in order to obtain different resolution combinations. The aim of this work was to investigate the influence that rainfall and catchment scales have on hydrological response in urban areas. Three dimensionless scaling factors were introduced to investigate the interactions between rainfall and catchment scale and rainfall input resolution in relation to the performance of the model. Results showed that (1) rainfall classification based on cluster identification well represents the storm core, (2) aggregation effects are stronger for rainfall than flow, (3) model complexity does not have a strong influence compared to catchment and rainfall scales for this case study, and (4) scaling factors allow the adequate rainfall resolution to be selected to obtain a given level of accuracy in the calculation of hydrological response.

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Cristiano, Elena / ten Veldhuis, Marie-Claire / Gaitan, Santiago / et al: Critical scales to explain urban hydrological response: an application in Cranbrook, London. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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