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Numerical modeling of transport processes at hillslope scale accounting for local physical features
Hillslope is the basic unit of a watershed. Typical hillslopes may have a size of 1000 m long and 500 m wide. For watershed modeling, it is essential to accurately describe the illslope-scale processes of flow, erosion and sediment transport, and solute transport. Although these processes are usually considered in experimental studies and theoretical subjects, the existing numerical models that are designed to simulate transport processes at hillslope scale rarely take microtopographic variations into account. Instead, those models assume constant slope, roughness, and infiltration rate for a given basic computational unit (i.e., hillslope). As a result, effects of microtopographic features (e.g., rills) on the aforementioned processes cannot be reflected in modeling results. However, the effects could be important because rill and sheet flows exhibit distinctly different dynamics that influence the transport processes. The objective of this chapter is to review the numerical studies for investigating the transport processes at hillslope scale. The chapter focuses particularly on the modeling efforts with the effects of microtopographic features on the dynamics of the transport processes incorporated.