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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Kinematic simulation of catchment runoff and erosion processes



D.A. Woolhiser, Roger E. Smith, ARS, USDA Fort Collins, CO
D.C. Goodrich, Carl Unkrich, ARS, USDA Tucson, AZ


Platform: PC

Brief Description:


KINEROS2 is a hydrologic model which upgrades an earlier version called KINEROS (Woolhiser, et al., 1990). It is an event-based model, so that long periods of soil water redistribution, plant growth, and other inter-storm changes are not treated. A rainfall record describing the rainfall rate pattern is used to simulate the runoff over a catchment of rather arbitrary complexity. The catchment is described by an abstraction into a tree-like network sequence of surfaces and channels. Infiltration is described by a model which includes small-scale spatial variability, a crust layer, and treatment of redistribution during rain hiatus (Corradini et al., 1994). Runoff is routed with an implicit finite difference solution of the kinematic wave equation. Erosion is simulated as a simple transport process operating with erosive detachment from splash and hydraulic sources, in equilibrium with settling based on particle fall velocity. (Smith et al., 1995). The model allows pipe flow and pond elements as well as infiltrating surfaces, and includes a partially paved element to use in urban area simulation.


Model Input:


Parameters must be input to describe the network, the characteristics of each element, and the rainfall. The user may choose either English or metric input units. Two ASCII files, in open format [@parameter1 = nn, etc.@], describe the parameters and weather for the simulated storm. There is global data, such as temperature, and element specific parameters for each kind of network element.


Model Output:


The model produces a variety of output detail, in part depending on options chosen. Sediment transport is an option computation. For any element (surface or channel or pond) a water balance summary only may be chosen, or a table of the hydrograph, or a file written in spreadsheet format. The user may interactively request graphical output of either the flow profiles or hydrographs for any element during running.


System Requirements:


DOS based PC with x86DX or pentium processor.


Availability and Documentation:


The KINEROS2 model is in beta testing stage. The original KINEROS model is available, along with a volume of Documentation and User Manual. The model with example input and output files comes on a diskette, but upgrade versions are provided on an FTP site. Contact one of the authors for further details and any questions.

Official website for Kineros2 can be found here:



Corradini, C., F. Melone, and R.E. Smith, 1994. Modeling infiltration during complex rainfall sequences, Water Resources Research, 30(10):2777-2784.

Woolhiser, D.A., R.E. Smith, and D.C. Goodrich, 1990. KINEROS, A kinematic runoff and erosion model: Documentation and User Manual. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, ARS-77, 130 pp.

Smith, R.E., D.C. Goodrich, and J.N. Quinton, 1995. Dynamic, distributed simulation of watershed erosion: The KINEROS2 and EUROSEM models, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 50(5):517-520.

Smith, R.E., D.C. Goodrich, D.A. Woolhiser, and C.L. Unkrich, 1995. KINEROS - A kinematic runoff and erosion model, Chapter 20 in: V.P. Singh, editor, Computer Models of Watershed Hydrology, Water Resources Publications, Highlands Ranch, CO, pp. 697-732.

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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