Effects of different methods for estimating impervious surface cover on runoff estimation at catchment level

Frank Canters, Jarek Chormanski, Tim Van de Voorde, Okke Batelaan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the most obvious effects of urbanization is an increase of impervious surface cover. Surface imperviousness has an important impact on hydrology, stream water quality and ecology, and is often used as an overall indicator of the health status of urbanized watersheds. It has also been identified as one of the key factors in the occurrence of flash floods. This paper examines the impact of different methods for estimating impervious surface cover on the outcome of a distributed rainfall-runoff model for the upper catchment of the Woluwe River in the southeastern part of Brussels. The study shows that mapping of impervious surface distribution, using remotely sensed data, produces substantially different estimates of discharge at catchment level than traditional approaches that are based on expert judgment of average imperviousness for different types of urban land use. Little difference is observed between results obtained with detailed impervious surface maps derived from high resolution satellite data and sub-pixel estimates of imperviousness derived from medium resolution data. This demonstrates that sub-pixel classification may be an interesting alternative for more expensive high resolution mapping of imperviousness for rainfall-runoff modeling at catchment level.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Accuracy 2006
Subtitle of host publication7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
EditorsMarco Painho, Mario Caetano
PublisherInstituto Geografica Portugues
Pages557-566
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9728867271, 9789728867270
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, ACCURACY 2006 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 5 Jul 20067 Jul 2006

Conference

Conference7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, ACCURACY 2006
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period5/07/067/07/06

Keywords

  • Impervious surfaces
  • Remote sensing
  • Runoff modeling
  • Sub-pixel classification

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