Scale effects of Hortonian overland flow and rainfall-runoff dynamics in a West African catena landscape

N.C. van de Giesen, T.J. Stomph, N. de Ridder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hortonian runoff was measured from plots with lengths of 1?25 and 12 m, and at watershed level for rainstorms during the 1996 rainy season in cental Côte d'Ivoire, Africa. A clear reduction in runoff coefficients was found with increasing slope lengths, giving order of magnitude differences between runoff measurements at point level (1 m2: 30-50␘f total rain) and watershed level (130 ha: 4␘f total rain). Runoff reduction from 1?25 and 12 m slopes was reproduced for each major runoff-producing rainstorm at two different sets of plots, but the reduction was erratic for rainfall events which produced little runoff. In addition, runoff reduction varied wildly from one rainstorm to the next. In the analysis, we show that the spatial variability of runoff parameters causes the erratic behaviour during rainstorms with little runoff. During the more important, larger runoff-producing events, which give 78␘f total runoff, the temporal dynamics of the rainfall-runoff process determine the reduction of runoff coefficients from longer slopes. A simple infiltration/runoff model was used to simulate the field results, thereby confirming the importance of rainfall dynamics as an explanatory factor for measured reduction of runoff coefficients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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