The reliability of hydrological response simulated by distributed hydrological models in river basins with complex topographies strictly relies on the adopted digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. Furthermore, when the objective is to investigate hydrologic processes over a longer period, including both wet and dry conditions, the choice of a proper model for estimating actual evapotranspiration can play a key role in water resources assessment. When dealing with groundwater-fed catchment, these aspects directly reflect on water balance simulations and consequentially on groundwater resource quantification, which is fundamental for effective water resources planning and management at the river basin scale. In the present study, a DEM-based inverse hydrogeological balance method is applied to estimate the active mean annual recharge of the northern Etna groundwater system within the upstream part of the Alcantara river basin in Sicily region (Italy). Despite this area representing a biodiversity hot-spot, as well as the main water source for a population of about 35,000 inhabitants, so far little attention has been paid to groundwater estimation, mainly due to lack of data. In this context, this work aims to improve knowledge on groundwater recharge at the annual scale in this case-study area. In particular, the main objectives of this study are: (1) to quantify the influence of the DEM resolution on groundwater resource estimation and (2) to investigate the influence of the method used for evapotranspiration assessment on the model’s results. More specifically, groundwater and surface flows are evaluated by considering different DEM resolutions (i.e., 20, 60, 100, 300, 500 m) and three different theoretical approaches for evapotranspiration calculation (i.e., the Turc method, a modified-Turc method, and the Budyko model).

The Role of DEM Resolution and Evapotranspiration Assessment in Modeling Groundwater Resources Estimation: A Case Study in Sicily

Brunella Bonaccorso
Secondo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Giuseppe Tito Aronica
Ultimo
Supervision
2020

Abstract

The reliability of hydrological response simulated by distributed hydrological models in river basins with complex topographies strictly relies on the adopted digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. Furthermore, when the objective is to investigate hydrologic processes over a longer period, including both wet and dry conditions, the choice of a proper model for estimating actual evapotranspiration can play a key role in water resources assessment. When dealing with groundwater-fed catchment, these aspects directly reflect on water balance simulations and consequentially on groundwater resource quantification, which is fundamental for effective water resources planning and management at the river basin scale. In the present study, a DEM-based inverse hydrogeological balance method is applied to estimate the active mean annual recharge of the northern Etna groundwater system within the upstream part of the Alcantara river basin in Sicily region (Italy). Despite this area representing a biodiversity hot-spot, as well as the main water source for a population of about 35,000 inhabitants, so far little attention has been paid to groundwater estimation, mainly due to lack of data. In this context, this work aims to improve knowledge on groundwater recharge at the annual scale in this case-study area. In particular, the main objectives of this study are: (1) to quantify the influence of the DEM resolution on groundwater resource estimation and (2) to investigate the influence of the method used for evapotranspiration assessment on the model’s results. More specifically, groundwater and surface flows are evaluated by considering different DEM resolutions (i.e., 20, 60, 100, 300, 500 m) and three different theoretical approaches for evapotranspiration calculation (i.e., the Turc method, a modified-Turc method, and the Budyko model).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3179635
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