IWA Publishing

A comparison of two infiltration models applied to simulation of overland flow over a two-dimensional flume

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

At the hillslope scale, where the rill-interrill configuration plays a significant role, infiltration is one of the major hydrologic processes affecting the generation of overland flow. As such, it is important to achieve a good understanding and accurate modelling of this process. Horton's infiltration has been widely used in many hydrologic models, though it has been occasionally found limited in handling adequately the antecedent moisture conditions (AMC) of soil. Holtan's model, conversely, is thought to be able to provide better estimation of infiltration rates as it can directly account for initial soil water content in its formulation. In this study, the Holtan model is coupled to an existing overland flow model, originally using Horton's model to account for infiltration, in an attempt to improve the prediction of runoff. For calibration and validation, experimental data from a two-dimensional flume which is incorporated with hillslope configuration have been used. Calibration and validation results showed that Holtan's model was able to improve the modelling results with better performance statistics than the Horton-coupled model. Holtan's infiltration equation, which allows accounting for AMC, provided an advantage and resulted in better runoff prediction of the model.

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