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Weekly Quiz #11

April 8, 2003
10 minutes

1. How does Horton overland flow occur? Briefly explain it in a few sentences. (3 pts)
A: Horton overland flow occurs when infiltration capacity is exceeded by rainfall intensity and
depression storage is filled up. It usually occurs in areas where permeability of the soil is extremely
limited, for example on paved surface, frozen ground, and compacted soil.
2. How does subsurface stormflow occur? (3pts)
A: SSSF occurs when the water table near a stream channel rises as a result of infiltration. A high
gradient between the water-table ridge and the channel causes faster-than-normal flow of shallow
3. What are the two processes contributing to saturation overland flow? How do they occur? (4 pts)
A: Return flow (RF) and direct precipitation on the saturated surface (DPS). Infiltration of heavy
rain causes the water table to rise, which eventually reaches the ground surface. No infiltration is
possible under this condition because the subsurface flow direction is upward.
4. What is the "variable source" concept of storm runoff", and how is it different from the earlier
notion of "partial-area" concept? (3 pts)
A: The variable source concept refers to the expansion of saturated surface during a storm event,
thereby increasing the amount of saturation overland flow. The partial-area concept simply states
that storm runoff occurs in localized areas within a watershed, which is meant to be the areas of low
infiltration capacity where Horton overland flow is generated.
5. What is antecedent moisture condition? How does it affect storm runoff? (3 pts)
A: Antecedent moisture condition refers to the soil moisture condition immediately before the onset
of a storm. Wetter soil has lower infiltration capacity, and also can be easily saturated to generate
saturation overland flow.