Science Questions – How are Floods Generated?
Understanding runoff generation mechanisms is very important for better estimating floods that may occur in small catchments, in particular if one is interested in extrapolating from small to large floods and to changed environmental conditions. Researchers in the HOAL are investigating flood generation aided by the diversity of runoff generation processes such as surface runoff, springs, tile drains and wetlands.
Saturation patterns within the catchment are monitored using video cameras to understand the space-time patterns and connectivity of surface flow. This is complementary to the soil moisture network by providing better spatial resolution.
The images allow the assessment of the role of surface ponding, micro-topography and the spatial organisation of surface flow within the catchment. They are used for validating theories of flow connectivity and distributed hydrological models, and assist in understanding water quality and sediment transport processes in the HOAL.