The spatially distributed hydrologic model WetSpa combines elevation, soil and land use data within GIS, to predict flood hydrographs and spatial distribution of hydrologic characteristics in a watershed. The model is applied to the Margecany–Hornad river basin (1,131 km2) in Slovakia. Daily hydrometeorological data from 1991–2000, including precipitation data from nine stations, temperature data from four stations and evaporation data measured at one station are used as input to the model. Three base maps, i.e. DEM, land use and soil type are prepared in GIS form, using 100 × 100 m cell size. Results of the simulations show good agreement between calculated and measured hydrographs. The model predicts the daily/hourly hydrographs with 75–80% accuracy according to the Nash–Sutcliff criteria. For assessing the impact of land use changes on floods, the calibrated model is applied for a reforestation scenario, which considers a 50% increase of forest areas. The model results show that the reforestation scenario decreases the peak discharge by 12%. Investigation of peak discharges from the whole simulation period, shows that the scenario results are reduced by 18% on average, while for small discharges the reduction is even about 34%. The time to peak of the simulated hydrograph of the reforestation scenario is 20 hours longer than for the present land use.

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