Uncertainties of soil parameterisation in process-based simulation of distributed flood control measures

W. Rieger, F. Winter, M. Disse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Distributed flood control measures such as land-use changes or differing soil tillage practices which affect the runoff generation process, are hard to simulate physically based due to a high degree of uncertainty with regard to soil parameterisation. In this study the physically based rainfall runoff model WaSiM-ETH (Version 8.4.2) was used with a multi-layered vegetation and soil parameterisation. The modelling area was the meso-scaled and rurally characterised Windach catchment. In addition, soil measurement datasets were compared to demonstrate the uncertainties in soil parameterisation of physically based models. The datasets were gained from the hillslope scale at the Scheyern research farm with similar soil conditions to the Windach catchment. While parameterising and calibrating the model, seven different pedotransfer functions were used with strong influence on the simulated hydrographs. The differing bulk densities of soils depending on land-use and soil tillage must be taken into consideration due to their high impact on modelling results, and they also offer a comprehensive way to model distributed flood control measures. These measures have noticeable effects on flood events under HQ10, especially if the land-use type which is affected by the distributed flood control measure is the dominating land-use form in the catchment area. To account for the variability of soils in the investigation area of Scheyern, different approaches were applied to estimate soil hydraulic properties and saturated hydraulic conductivity, and were compared to field measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Geosciences
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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