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Abstract

Parameter Sensitivity in Hydrologic Modeling

David R. Maidment, Ph.D. and Tanya Nicole Hoogerwerf The University of Texas at Austin, May 2002

The computation of discharge from a watershed depends on the lag time between rainfall and runoff, while in turn the lag time depends on watershed parameters, such as length of the longest flow path, watershed slope, and the SCS curve number describing the effects of land use and soils. This research explores the variation in lag time and discharge resulting from traditional and automated

methods of calculating hydrologic hydrologic parameters are explored:

parameters. Four levels (1) measurement from paper

of extracting maps, (2) on-

screen extraction from raster maps, (3) using GIS and two grid-based digital elevation models (DEMs), and (4) using

different resolutions of a triangulated irregular

network (TIN). Results show that variations in watershed area most directly impact the computed discharge, while variations path length are relatively insignificant.

and curve number in slope and flow

ii

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