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Modeling spatial patterns of saturated areas: A comparison of the topographic wetness index and a dynamic distributed model
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, Vol. 373, no 1-2, 15-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Topography is often one of the major controls on the spatial pattern of saturated areas, which in turn is akey to understanding much of the variability in soils, hydrological processes, and stream water quality.The topographic wetness index (TWI) has become a widely used tool to describe wetness conditions atthe catchment scale. With this index, however, it is assumed that groundwater gradients always equalsurface gradients. To overcome this limitation, we suggest deriving wetness indices based on simulationsof distributed catchment models. We compared these new indices with the TWI and evaluated the differ-ent indices by their capacity to predict spatial patterns of saturated areas. Results showed that the model-derived wetness indices predicted the spatial distribution of wetlands signi´Čücantly better than the TWI.These results encourage the use of a dynamic distributed hydrological model to derive wetness indexmaps for hydrological landscape analysis in catchments with topographically driven groundwater tables.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 373, no 1-2, 15-23 p.
Keyword [en]
Topographic wetness index, Distributed hydrological model, Spatial patterns, Saturated areas, Wetlands, Landscape analysis
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31151DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.03.031ISI: 000268074900002OAI: diva2:275565
Available from: 2009-12-07 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved

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