PFHydro: A new watershed-scale model for post-fire runoff simulation

Environmental Modelling and Software
By: , and 



Runoff increases after wildfires that burn vegetation and create a condition of soil-water repellence (SWR). A new post-fire watershed hydrological model, PFHydro, was created to explicitly simulate vegetation interception and SWR effects for four burn severity categories: high, medium, low severity and unburned. The model was applied to simulate post-fire runoff from the Upper Cache Creek Watershed in California, USA. Nash–Sutcliffe modeling efficiency (NSE) was used to assess model performance. The NSE was 0.80 and 0.88 for pre-fire water years (WY) 2000 and 2015, respectively. NSE was 0.88 and 0.93 for WYs 2016 (first year post-fire) and 2017 respectively. The simulated percentage of surface runoff in total runoff of WY 2016 was about six times that of pre-fire WY 2000 and three times that of WY 2015. The modeling results suggest that SWR is an important factor for post-fire runoff generation. The model was successful at simulating SWR behavior.

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    Publication type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Title PFHydro: A new watershed-scale model for post-fire runoff simulation
    Series title Environmental Modelling and Software
    DOI 10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104555
    Volume 123
    Year Published 2020
    Language English
    Publisher Elsevier
    Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
    Description 104555, 15 p.
    Country United States
    State California
    Other Geospatial Upper Cache Creek Watershed
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