Reply to Comment by Roques et al. on "Base Flow Recession from Unsaturated-Saturated Porous Media considering Lateral Unsaturated Discharge and Aquifer Compressibility"
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2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Roques et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR022085) claims that they have proposed an exponential time step (ETS) method to improve the computing method of Liang et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR020938) which used a constant time step (CTS) method on the derivative for dQ/dt in field data, where Q is the base flow discharge and t is the time since the start of base flow recession. This reply emphasizes that the main objective of Liang et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR020938) was to develop an analytical model to investigate the effects of the unsaturated flow on base flow recession, not on the data interpretation methods. The analytical model indicates that the base flow recession hydrograph behaves as dQ/dt aQb with the exponent b close to 1 at late times, which is consistent with previous theoretical models. The model of Liang et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR020938) was applied to field data where the derivative of dQ/dt was computed using the CTS method, a method that has been widely adopted in previous studies. The ETS method proposed by Roques et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2017.07.013) appears to be a good alternative but its accuracy needs further validation. Using slopes to fit field data as proposed by Roques et al. (, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR022085) appears to match data satisfactorily at early times whereas it performs less satisfactorily at late times and leads to the exponent b being obviously larger than 1.
author list (cited authors)
Liang, X., Zhan, H., Zhang, Y., & Schilling, K.
complete list of authors
Liang, Xiuyu||Zhan, Hongbin||Zhang, You-Kuan||Schilling, Keith