Abstract

The precise and reliable simulation of hydrologic and hydraulic processes is important for efficient flood forecasting and warning. The study proposes a real-time flood forecasting system which integrates a coupled hydrological-hydraulic modeling system, weather station network, and stream gauges in a web-based visualization environment. An automated procedure was developed for linking dynamically terrestrial rainfall-runoff processes and river hydraulics by coupling the SWAT hydrological model and the HEC–RAS hydraulic model. The flood forecasting system was trialed in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon river basin, Quang Nam province, Vietnam. The results showed good statistical correlation between predicted and measured stream flow for a 10-year calibration period (R² = 0.95, NSI = 0.95, PBIAS = −1.54) and during the following 10-year validation period as well (R² = 0.93, NSI = 0.93, PBIAS = 6.18). A close-up analysis of individual storm events indicated that the magnitude and timing of peak floods were accurately predicted in 2015 (R² = 0.88, NSI = 0.69, PBIAS = 4.50) and 2016 (R² = 0.80, NSI = 0.93, PBIAS = 6.18). In addition, the automated procedure was demonstrated to be reliable with dependable computational efficiency of less than 5 minutes processing time.

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