The accurate determination of surface water flow pathways is of primary importance when assessing the impact of pollutant transport and watershed physical characteristics on overland and channel water quality. The mathematical description of hydrological processes over natural watersheds, requires a detailed representation of the topography, on which the accurate determination of overland and channel flow trajectories often poses difficulties. The hydrological component of the DELTA code aims to provide valuable insight into this direction by using the semi-irregular triangulated (semi-TIN) topography model DELTA/HYDRO for establishing surface flow paths that can represent reliably the natural characteristics of a watershed, addressing several major physical hydrodynamic processes. The validity of the generated paths is tested via the integration of a conventional distributed hydrological model by routing excess rainfall over ground surface and through a channel network to the watershed outlet, for a series of storm episodes on a small, but relatively complex watershed. The encouraging results obtained demonstrate the promising application potential of the model, which can be additionally complemented with a pollutant transport component to address the interactions of soluble chemicals between soil surface and overland/channel flow, in the context of a fully integrated model. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.