Flood quantiles scaling with upper soil hydraulic properties for different land uses at catchment scale
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Changes in land use within a catchment are among the causes of non-stationarity in the flood regime, as they modify the upper soil physical structure and its runoff production capacity. This paper analyzes the relation between the variation of the upper soil hydraulic properties due to changes in land use and its effect on the magnitude of peak flows: (1) incorporating fractal scaling properties to relate the effect of the static storage capacity (the sum of capillary water storage capacity in the root zone, canopy interception and surface puddles) and the upper soil vertical saturated hydraulic conductivity on the flood regime; (2) describing the effect of the spatial organization of the upper soil hydraulic properties at catchment scale; (3) examining the scale properties in the parameters of the Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) probability distribution function, in relation to the upper soil hydraulic properties. This study considered the historical changes of land use in the Combeima River catchment in South America, between 1991 and 2007, using distributed hydrological modeling of daily discharges to describe the hydrological response. Through simulation of land cover scenarios, it was demonstrated that it is possible to quantify the magnitude of peak flows in scenarios of land cover changes through its Wide-Sense Simple Scaling with the upper soil hydraulic properties.