Continuous Hydrologic Simulation of Runoff for the Middle Fork and South Fork of the Beargrass Creek Basin in Jefferson County, Kentucky

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4182

by G. Lynn Jarret, Aimee C. Downs, and Patricia A. Grace-Jarrett

This report is available as a pdf below


The Hydrological Simulation Pro-gram-FORTRAN (HSPF) was applied to an urban drainage basin in Jefferson County, Ky to integrate the large amounts of information being collected on water quantity and quality into an analytical framework that could be used as a management and planning tool. Hydrologic response units were developed using geographic data and a K-means analysis to characterize important hydrologic and physical factors in the basin. The Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN Expert System (HSPEXP) was used to calibrate the model parameters for the Middle Fork Beargrass Creek Basin for 3 years (June 1, 1991, to May 31, 1994) of 5-minute streamflow and precipitation time series, and 3 years of hourly pan-evaporation time series. The calibrated model parameters were applied to the South Fork Beargrass Creek Basin for confirmation. The model confirmation results indicated that the model simulated the system within acceptable tolerances. The coefficient of determination and coefficient of model-fit efficiency between simulated and observed daily flows were 0.91 and 0.82, respectively, for model calibration and 0.88 and 0.77, respectively, for model confirmation. The model is most sensitive to estimates of the area of effective impervious land in the basin; the spatial distribution of rain-fall; and the lower-zone evapotranspiration, lower-zone nominal storage, and infiltration-capacity parameters during recession and low-flow periods. The error contribution from these sources varies with season and antecedent conditions.

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