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Coupling Hydrologic-Hydrodynamic Processes in a Groundwater dependent Tropical Floodplain: Case of Barotse Floodplain
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  • Innocent C. Chomba,
  • Kawawa E. Banda,
  • Hessel C. Winsemius,
  • Makungu Eunice,
  • Henry M. Sichingabula,
  • Imasiku A. Nyambe
Innocent C. Chomba
University of Zambia Department of Geology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kawawa E. Banda
University of Zambia Department of Geology
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Hessel C. Winsemius
Technische Universiteit Delft Faculteit Civiele Techniek en Geowetenschappen
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Makungu Eunice
Saint Augustine University of Tanzania
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Henry M. Sichingabula
University of Zambia School of Natural Sciences
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Imasiku A. Nyambe
University of Zambia Department of Geology
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The rapid development of free and open access hydrological models and coupling frameworks tools continue to present more opportunities for coupled model development for improved assessment of floodplain hydrology. In this study, we set up a The Upper Zambezi Hydrological model and a fully spatially hydrological-hydrodynamic coupled model for the Barotse Floodplain using GLOFRIM (GLObally applicable computational FRamework for Integrated hydrological–hydrodynamic Modelling). The hydrological and hydrodynamic models used are WFLOW and LISFLOOD-FP respectively. The simulated flows generated by wflow model for the upstream gauge stations before the Barotse Floodplain, were quite similar and closely matched the observed flow as indicated by the evaluation statistics; Chavuma, nse=0.738; kge = 0.738; pbias = 2.561 and RSR = 0.511; Watopa, nse=0.684; kge = 0.816; pbias = 10.577 and RSR = 0.557; Lukulu, nse=0.736; kge = 0.795; pbias = 10.437 and RSR = 0.509. However, even though wflow hydrological model was able to simulate the upstream hydrology very well, the results at the floodplain outlet gauge stations did not quite match the observed monthly flows at Senanga gauge station as indicated by the evaluation statistics: nse=0.132; kge = 0.509; pbias = 37.740 and RSR = 0.9233. This is mainly because the representation of both floodplain channels hydrodynamics and vertical hydrological processes are necessary to correctly capture floodplain dynamics. Thus, the need for an approach that saves as a basis for developing a fully spatially distributed coupled hydrodynamic and hydraulic models’ assessments for groundwater dependent tropical floodplains such as the Barotse floodplain, in closing the gap between hydrology and hydrodynamics in floodplains assessments. A fully model coupling has the potential of been used in implementing adaptive wetland management strategies for water resources allocation, environmental flow (eflows), flood control, land use and climate change impact assessments.