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Evaluation of a physically based quasi-linear and a conceptually based nonlinear Muskingum methods
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Two variants of the Muskingum flood routing method formulated for accounting nonlinearity of the channel routing process are investigated in this study. These variant methods are: (1) The three-parameter conceptual Nonlinear Muskingum (NLM) method advocated by Gillin 1978, and (2) The Variable Parameter McCarthy-Muskingum (VPMM) method recently proposed by Perumal and Price in 2013. The VPMM method does not require rigorous calibration and validation procedures as required in the case of NLM method due to established relationships of its parameters with flow and channel characteristics based on hydrodynamic principles. The parameters of the conceptual nonlinear storage equation used in the NLM method were calibrated using the Artificial Intelligence Application (AIA) techniques, such as the Genetic Algorithm (GA), the Differential Evolution (DE), the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and the Harmony Search (HS). The calibration was carried out on a given set of hypothetical flood events obtained by routing a given inflow hydrograph in a set of 40 km length prismatic channel reaches using the Saint-Venant (SV) equations. The validation of the calibrated NLM method was investigated using a different set of hypothetical flood hydrographs obtained in the same set of channel reaches used for calibration studies. Both the sets of solutions obtained in the calibration and validation cases using the NLM method were compared with the corresponding solutions of the VPMM method based on some pertinent evaluation measures. The results of the study reveal that the physically based VPMM method is capable of accounting for nonlinear characteristics of flood wave movement better than the conceptually based NLM method which requires the use of tedious calibration and validation procedures.