Modelling subsurface storm flow with the Representative Elementary Watershed (REW) approach: application to the Alzette River Basin

Zhang, G. P.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Fenicia, F.; Pfister, L.

A new domain, the macropore domain describing subsurface storm flow, has been introduced to the Representative Elementary Watershed (REW) approach. The mass balance equations have been reformulated and the closure relations associated with subsurface storm flow have been developed. The model code, REWASH, has been revised accordingly. With the revised REWASH, a rainfall-runoff model has been built for the Hesperange catchment, a sub-catchment of the Alzette River Basin. This meso-scale catchment is characterised by fast catchment response to precipitation, and subsurface storm flow is one of the dominant runoff generation processes. The model has been evaluated by a multi-criteria approach using both discharge and groundwater table data measured at various locations in the study site. It is demonstrated that subsurface storm flow contributes considerably to stream flow in the study area. Simulation results show that discharges measured along the main river course are well simulated and groundwater dynamics is well captured, suggesting that the model is a useful tool for catchment-scale hydrological analysis.

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Zhang, G. P. / Savenije, H. H. G. / Fenicia, F. / et al: Modelling subsurface storm flow with the Representative Elementary Watershed (REW) approach: application to the Alzette River Basin. 2006. Copernicus Publications.

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