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Model representation of the Sudanian hydrological processes : Application on the Donga catchment (Benin)

Abstract : During the AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis) program, intensive field experiments were conducted on the Donga catchment (586 km2), which is part of the Oue´me´ surveyed hydrological watershed (14,400 km2). Based on these studies, a number of general hydrological assumptions were derived to explain the hydrological functioning of catchments located in the Sudanian hydrological area of West Africa. To take advantage of this field-acquired knowledge in the study of the impacts of climate and anthropogenic changes in these catchments, a model (TOPAMMA) was derived based on these hydrological assumptions. Subsurface lateral fluxes were described in the model using the TOPMODEL framework. The recharge of the deep water table was also modelled, taking into account its disconnection from the river network. Simple geomorphologic approaches were used to estimate the time-transfer of both surface and subsurface water fluxes. Finally, to be consistent with the available meteorological data, a simple parameterization of evapotranspiration was added to the model. This paper details this modelisation as well as its corroboration on the Donga catchment. The data collected over the catchment during the 2002–2004 periods was therefore used at different scales, within either a quantitative or qualitative perspective. The results show that the model representation of the water cycle is quite realistic, which allows the AMMA community to have a useful tool available for water balance studies on the Sudanian region. However, further field investigations are necessary to confirm main model assumptions. Finally, the process representation in the model is now improved, especially with regard to the description of spatial land–surface heterogeneities and surface–atmosphere interactions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 9:48:14 AM
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Matthieu Le Lay, Georges-Marie Saulnier, S. Galle, Luc Séguis, M. Metadier, et al.. Model representation of the Sudanian hydrological processes : Application on the Donga catchment (Benin). Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2008, pp.32-41. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.09.006⟩. ⟨halsde-00400174⟩



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