Topographic depressions in Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) have been traditionally seen as a feature to be removed as no outward flow direction is available to route and accumulate flows. Therefore, to simplify hydrologic analysis for practical purposes, the common approach treated all depressions in DEMs as artefacts and completely removed them in DEMs’ data preprocessing prior to modelling. However, the effects of depression filling on both the geomorphic structure of the river network and surface runoff is still not clear. The use of two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic modeling to track inundation patterns has the potential to provide novel point of views on this issue. Specifically, there is no need to remove topographic depression from DEM, as performed in the use of traditional methods for the automatic extraction of river networks, so that their effects can be directly taken into account in simulated drainage patterns and in the associated hydrologic response. The novelty introduced in this work is the evaluation of the effects of DEM depression filling on both the structure of the net-points characterizing the simulated networks and the hydrologic response of the watersheds to simplified rainfall scenarios. The results highlight how important these effects might be in practical applications, providing new insights in the field of watershed-scale modeling.
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