Modeling of Surface Microtopography and its Impacts on Hydrologic Processes
Habtezion, Noah Lebassi
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Understanding the impacts of surface microtopography on hydrologic processes is critical. The objectives of this thesis research are: (1) to evaluate the effects of DEM resolution on microtopographic characteristics, hydrologic connectivity, and modeling of hydrologic processes; and (2) to assess the influences of multiple rainfall events on surface and subsurface hydrologic processes with the use of a puddle-to-puddle (P2P) modeling system. The change in DEM resolution has a significant effect on how surface microtopography is depicted, which in turn alters the hydrologic response of a topographic surface. The smoothing of reduced DEM resolution tends to enhance hydrologic connectivity, reduce the depression storage and infiltration, and increase surface runoff. Temporal rainfall distribution results in spatio-temporal variations in soil water dynamics, depression storage, infiltration, hydrologic connectivity, and surface runoff. The reduction in ponding time and infiltration, and the enhancement of hydrologic connectivity further caused earlier and greater surface runoff generation.