Storage of water within a drainage basin is often estimated indirectly by analyzing the recession flow curves as it cannot be directly estimated with the aid of available technologies. However, two major problems with recession analysis are: i) late recession flows, particularly for large basins, are usually not observed ii) and early recession flows indicate that initial storage is infinite, which is not realistic. We address this issue by using the recently proposed geomorphological recession flow model (GRFM), which suggests that storage-discharge relationship for a recession event is exponential for the early recession phase and power-law for the late recession phase, being distinguished from one another by a sharp transition. Then we obtain a simple expression for the 'drainable' storage within a basin in terms of early recession curve characteristics and basin geomorphology. The predicted storage matches well with the observed storage (R^2=0.96), indicating the possibility of reliably estimating storage in river basins for various practical purposes.
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[v1] 2014-02-20 09:29:05
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