Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-140
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-140

Submitted as: model description paper 31 May 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 31 May 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Computation of backwater effects in surface waters of tidal lowland catchments including control structures – An efficient and re-usable method implemented in the hydrological open source model Kalypso-NA (4.0)

Sandra Hellmers and Peter Fröhle Sandra Hellmers and Peter Fröhle
  • Institute of River and Coastal Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, 21073, Germany

Abstract. Backwater effects in surface water streams as well as on adjacent lowland areas caused by mostly complex drainage structures are not directly computed with hydrological approaches, yet. A solution of this weakness in hydrological modelling is presented in this article. The developed method enables to transfer discharges into water levels and to calculate backwater volume routing along streams and adjacent lowland areas by balancing water level slopes. The implemented and evaluated method extends the application of hydrological models for rainfall-runoff simulations of backwater affected catchments with the advantages of (1) modelling complex drainage systems in tidal backwater affected lowlands, (2) less effort to parameterise river streams, (3) directly defined input factors of driving forces (climate change and urbanisation) and (4) runtime reduction of one to two orders of magnitude in comparison to coupled hydrodynamic models. The developed method is implemented in the open source rainfall-runoff model Kalypso-NA (4.0). Evaluation results show the applicability of the model for modelling rainfall-runoff regimes and backwater effects in an exemplary lowland catchment (Hamburg, Germany) with a complex drainage system and where the drainage is influenced by a tidal range of about 4 m. The proposed method is applicable to answer a wide scope of hydrological and water management questions, e.g. water balances, flood forecasts and effectiveness of flood mitigation measures. It is re-usable to other hydrological numerical models, which apply conceptual hydrological flood routing approaches (e.g. Muskingum-Cunge or Kalinin-Miljukov).

Sandra Hellmers and Peter Fröhle

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-140', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sandra Hellmers, 21 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-140', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Oct 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2 - thank you! Detailled response till 29th of October.', Sandra Hellmers, 19 Oct 2021
  • AC3: 'gmd-2021-140: detailled response to reviewer 1', Sandra Hellmers, 29 Oct 2021
  • AC4: 'gmd-2021-140: detailled response to reviewer 2', Sandra Hellmers, 29 Oct 2021

Sandra Hellmers and Peter Fröhle

Sandra Hellmers and Peter Fröhle

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Short summary
A hydrological method to compute backwater effects in surface water streams and on adjacent lowlands caused by mostly complex drainage systems is presented. It enables to transfer discharges to water levels and to calculate backwater volume routing along streams and lowland areas by balancing water level slopes. The developed, implemented and evaluated method extends the application range of hydrological models significantly for flood routing simulation in backwater affected catchments.