Articles | Volume 10, issue 12
22 Dec 2010
 | 22 Dec 2010

Application of the HBV hydrological model in a flash flood case in Slovenia

M. G. Grillakis, I. K. Tsanis, and A. G. Koutroulis

Abstract. An atmospheric depression passed over northwest Slovenia on 18 September 2007 producing precipitation that exceeded 300 mm/d and a 100-year return period runoff in Zelezniki tributary. The resultant flash flood in the study area, which consisted of five basins, was simulated with the conceptual distributed hydrological model HBV (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning). The model was calibrated and validated with past rainfall – runoff events with satisfactory results producing values of Nash – Sutcliffe coefficient between 0.82 and 0.96. The validated model was applied to the flash flood case with stream gauge failure, driven by spatiotemporal precipitation produced by a set of rain gauges and radar data. The model delivered satisfactory results on three out of five basin outlets while the other two had stream gauge failure during the event. The internal basin dynamics of the most affected area in Zelezniki, was successfully tested in eight of its sub-basins by comparing the peak discharges with the ones evaluated by the slope-conveyance method during a detailed intensive post event campaign. The added value of this method is in the reduced uncertainty in peak discharge estimation and event interpretation and in an effective flash flood warning system for the study area when it is combined with radar nowcasts and operational high resolution short range weather forecast models.