Processes acting on the formation of surface runoff (3)

Natural catchment area and its represntation in the system plan

In natural areas the propagation and concentration of surface runoff on its way to the river is complex and can vary rapidly. It is fed by the infiltration-excess runoff and the saturation flow. The main flow direction of this often called sheet flow is given by the contour of the terrain. Water depth and transport rate are further influenced by the surface cover (vegetation, pavement).

Total lenght of the flow path

The sheet flow concentrates in small depression zones which confluence and further extend to larger rilles (*6). Due to spatial variability of the infiltration capacity of soil the surface runoff can be subjected to re-infiltration along the flow path called run-on process.

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Hydrology of Floods



*6 Moore/Foster (1990)



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