IWA Publishing

The impact of land use/land cover changes and hydraulic structures on flood recession process

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Intensified human activities have brought about great changes in runoff generation and convergence. As a significant part of the hydrological process, recession flows represent the capacity of a river basin to store rain and drain it during dry periods; therefore study of the influence of human-induced factors on flood flow recession is of great importance. The Fuping sub-catchment was selected as the study area. Comparisons of land use/land cover and soil moisture storage capacity changes were made between reference and impaired periods. In addition, 64 recession flows during 1958–2005 were simulated using the linear and non-linear reservoir recession models. Then the influence of land use/land cover changes and hydraulic structures on recession flows was identified. Results showed that grassland and cultivated land declined in area while forests increased. At the same time, there was a sharp increase in the soil moisture storage capacity. The non-linear recession model, being more accurate than the linear recession model, was used to simulate the recession process. Compared with recession curves before 1980, the initial outflow from the basin declined while the power law coefficient and recession duration increased; the power law exponent was relatively constant. Furthermore, the shapes of recession curves were flattened.

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