Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Fill‐and‐spill: a process description of runoff generation at the scale of the beholder


McDonnell, Jeffrey J; Spence, Christopher; Karran, Daniel J; van Meerveld, H J; Harman, Ciaran J (2021). Fill‐and‐spill: a process description of runoff generation at the scale of the beholder. Water Resources Research, 57(5):e2020WR027514.

Abstract

Descriptions of runoff generation processes continue to grow, helping to reveal complexities and hydrologic behavior across a wide range of environments and scales. But to date, there has been little grouping of these process facts. Here, we discuss how the “fill-and-spill” concept can provide a framework to group event-based runoff generation processes. The fill-and-spill concept describes where vertical and lateral additions of water to a landscape unit are placed into storage (the fill)—and only when this storage reaches a critical level (the spill), and other storages are filled and become connected, does a previously infeasible (but subsequently important) outflow pathway become activated. We show that fill-and-spill can be observed at a range of scales and propose that future fieldwork should first define the scale of interest and then evaluate what is filling-and-spilling at that scale. Such an approach may be helpful for those instrumenting and modeling new hillslopes or catchments because it provides a structured way to develop perceptual models for runoff generation and to group behaviors at different sites and scales.

Abstract

Descriptions of runoff generation processes continue to grow, helping to reveal complexities and hydrologic behavior across a wide range of environments and scales. But to date, there has been little grouping of these process facts. Here, we discuss how the “fill-and-spill” concept can provide a framework to group event-based runoff generation processes. The fill-and-spill concept describes where vertical and lateral additions of water to a landscape unit are placed into storage (the fill)—and only when this storage reaches a critical level (the spill), and other storages are filled and become connected, does a previously infeasible (but subsequently important) outflow pathway become activated. We show that fill-and-spill can be observed at a range of scales and propose that future fieldwork should first define the scale of interest and then evaluate what is filling-and-spilling at that scale. Such an approach may be helpful for those instrumenting and modeling new hillslopes or catchments because it provides a structured way to develop perceptual models for runoff generation and to group behaviors at different sites and scales.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
46 citations in Web of Science®
36 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

65 downloads since deposited on 15 Dec 2021
45 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:1 May 2021
Deposited On:15 Dec 2021 15:19
Last Modified:26 Apr 2024 01:37
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2020wr027514
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)