Regionalizing time of concentration using landscape structural patterns of catchments

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There is an emerging challenge within water resources on how, and to what extent, borrowing concepts from landscape ecology might help re-define traditional concepts in hydrology in a more tangible manner.

A stepwise regression model was adopted in this study to assess whether the time of concentration of catchments could be explained by five landscape structure-representing metrics for land use/land cover, soil and geological patches, using spatial data from 39 catchments.

The models suggested that the times of concentration of the catchments could be predicted using the measures of four landscape structure-representing metrics, which include contiguity index (r2 = 0.46, p ≤0.05), fractal dimension index (r2 = 0.51, p ≤0.05), related circumscribing circle (r2 = 0.52, p ≤0.05), and shape index (r2 = 0.47, p ≤0.05).

The models indicated that the regularity or irregularity in land use/land cover patch shape played a key role in affecting catchment hydrological response. Our findings revealed that regularity and irregularity in the shape of a given patch (e.g., urban and semi-urban, rangeland and agricultural patches) can affect patch functions in retarding and/or increasing flow accumulation at the catchment scale, which can, in turn, decrease or increase the times of concentration in the catchments.

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