Land-use impact on watershed response: The integration of two-dimensional hydrological modelling and geographical information systems

William W. Doe, Bahram Saghafian, Pierre Y. Julien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The integration of a two-dimensional, raster-based rainfall-runoff model, CASC2D, with a raster geographical information system (GIS), GRASS, offers enhanced capabilities for analysing the hydrological impact under a variety of land management scenarios. The spatially varied components of the watershed, such as slope, soil texture, surface roughness and land-use disturbance, were characterized in GRASS at a user-specified grid cell resolution for input into the CASC2D model. CASC2D is a raster-based, single-event rainfall-runoff model that divides the watershed into grid cell elements and simulates the hydrological processes of infiltration, overland flow and channel flow in response to distributed rainfall precipitation. The five-step integration of CASC2D and GRASS demonstrates the potential for analysing spatially and temporally varied hydrological processes within a 50 square mile semi-arid watershed. By defining possible land-use disturbance scenarios for the watershed, a variety of rainfall-runoff events were simulated to determine the changes in watershed response under varying disturbance and rainfall conditions. Additionally, spatially distributed infiltration outputs derived from the simulations were analysed in GRASS to determine the variability of hydrological change within the watershed. Grid cell computational capabilities in GRASS allow the user to combine the scenario simulation outputs with other distributed watershed parameters to develop complex maps depicting potential areas of hydrological sensitivity. This GIS-hydrological model integration provides valuable spatial information to researchers and managers concerned with the study and effects of land-use on hydrological response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1511
Number of pages9
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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