A Two Dimensional Distributed Hydrological Model for Infiltrating Watersheds with Channel Networks

Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

A. Osman Akan

Committee Member

David R. Basco

Committee Member

Jaewan Yoon

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54 C87


A numerical model named Old Dominion Watershed Simulation Model (ODWSM) is developed for simulating the rainfall/runoff process that occurs over watersheds. ODWSM's computational modules include the capability to simulate two-dimensional overland flow, spatially varied infiltration and depression storage, interception and channel flow for irregular and looped networks.

Overland flow computation is performed by writing the two-dimensional kinematic wave equations in an implicit finite difference form. Computational speed is gained by using an upwind differencing scheme and solving the equations in the direction of flow. This solution method allows for the calculation of infiltration and depression storage to include rainfall, current water volume contained in cell and flow from upstream cells.

The complete St. Venant equations are used to simulate channel routing for drainage channels. These equations are written in a four point finite difference form (Priessmann Scheme) and can simulate looped and branched type networks. Lateral inflow from the overland flow grid is automatically transferred to the channel routing module on a cell by cell basis.

Verification and validation of ODWSM is performed by first comparing the results from the numerical solutions to analytical and steady state solutions and then using collected data from four watersheds to prove that the selected equations model the actual physical processes. In the four watersheds selected, single event rainfall and runoff data was available. The final results proved ODWSM' s capabilities of accurately simulating watershed runoff.


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