IWA Publishing

An ecohydrologic model for a shallow groundwater urban environment


The urban environment is a patchwork of natural and artificial surfaces that results in complex interactions with and impacts to natural hydrologic cycles. Evapotranspiration is a major hydrologic flow that is often altered through urbanization, although the mechanisms of change are sometimes difficult to tease out due to difficulty in effectively simulating soil–plant–atmosphere interactions. This paper introduces a simplified yet realistic model that is a combination of existing surface runoff and ecohydrology models designed to increase the quantitative understanding of complex urban hydrologic processes. Results demonstrate that the model is capable of simulating the long-term variability of major hydrologic fluxes as a function of impervious surface, temperature, water table elevation, canopy interception, soil characteristics, precipitation and complex mechanisms of plant water uptake. These understandings have potential implications for holistic urban water system management.

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