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A GIS-based method was developed to generate the necessary data input for hydrologic model analysis to evaluate the effects of data resolution on SCS curve number, runoff depth, runoff volume, and peak discharge. The inputs were generated using a combination of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) curve number method, the unit hydrograph, land use, digital elevation models, and soil type. Two types of soil data, Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO), and States Soil Geographic (STATSGO), and three digital elevation models of varying cell resolution (5m, 30, and 90m) were evaluated. The modeling approach developed for this study utilized TR-55 and ArcView GIS to compute watershed runoff variables. The method involves three processes: 1) hydrologic parameter estimation using GIS, 2) hydrologic modeling using TR-55 methodology within a GIS environment, and 3) a GIS-based comparison of curve numbers and peak runoff rates estimated from data of varying spatial resolution. All simulations were performed on the Todd Creek watershed, located in Kansas City, Missouri. Model development and peak runoff computations were executed exclusively in a GIS environment. The results of this study can assist watershed managers in making informed and transparent decisions regarding the necessity of obtaining high versus low resolution soils and elevation data at the planning stages of the watershed modeling projects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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