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Keywords:

  • flooding;
  • precipitation;
  • runoff;
  • surface water hydrology;
  • GSSHA

Sharif, Hatim O., Almoutaz A. Hassan, Sazzad Bin-Shafique, Hongjie Xie, and Jon Zeitler, 2010. Hydrologic Modeling of an Extreme Flood in the Guadalupe River in Texas. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00459.x

Abstract:  Many of the storms creating the greatest rainfall depths in Texas, measured over durations ranging from one minute to 48 hours, have occurred in the Texas Hill Country area. The upstream portion of the Guadalupe River Basin, located in the Texas Hill Country, is susceptible to flooding and rapid runoff due to thin soils, exposed bedrock, and sparse vegetation, in addition to the Balcones Escarpment uplift contributing to precipitation enhancement. In November 2004, a moist air mass from the Gulf of Mexico combined with moist air from the Pacific Ocean resulted in the wettest November in Texas since 1895. Although the peak discharges were not the highest on record, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stream gauge on the Guadalupe River at Gonzales, Texas reported a daily mean discharge of 2,304 m3/s on November 23, 2004 (average discharge is 53 m3/s). In this paper, we examine the meteorological conditions that led to this event and apply a two-dimensional, physically based, distributed-parameter hydrologic model to simulate the response of a portion of the basin during this event. The study results clearly demonstrate the ability of physically based, distributed-parameter simulations, driven by operational radar rainfall products, to adequately model the cumulative effect of two rainfall events and route inflows from three upstream watersheds without the need for significant calibration.