KWRRI Research Reports


This report presents a self-calibrating watershed model for predicting the effect of channel improvements on downstream floods. The model is called MOPSET because it is a modified version of OPSET developed several years ago at the University of Kentucky. OPSET is a computerized procedure for determining an optimum set of parameter values by matching synthesized flows with recorded flows. Major modifications include the replacement of the modified Muskingum method of channel routing by a kinematic finite difference method, the division of the watershed into a number of segments, and the inclusion of a storage routing procedure to take care of any reservoirs or flood control structures located in the watershed. The computer program is well documented and can be used not only as a flood predicting model but also as a general model for hydrologic simulations.

The model was applied to three different watersheds in Kentucky. It was found that the optimum set of parameter values obtained automatically by the model was not unique and might not yield the most desirable solution. For this reason, new features were added so that the user can exercise his judgment in selecting the most desirable parameter values.

The synthesized flows obtained from these watersheds are presented and compared with the recorded flows. The effects of channel improvements, flood control structures, and routing procedures on the synthesized flows are discussed.

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Funding Information

The work on which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the Office of Water Research and Technology, United States Department of the Interior, as authorized under the Water Resources Act of 1964.