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Hydrology 101

Instructor: Robert (Bob) Carr, PE, CSM

XP Software, Inc. Senior Water Resources Engineer

Hydrology

The “Art” or Science of changing rainfall to

runoff

Engineering Design - Hydrology

Stormwater Drainage Design

Flood damage reduction

Public safety

Economics of inconvenience

• Political “risk” factor

Benefit Cost analysis (including incremental costs)

Criteria often Established by

State or Federal Department of Transportation

City or Agency Technical Staff

Regulators (consent order & permit)

The Hydrologic Cycle

Simplified Hydrologic Budget

PRECIPITATION LOSSES = RUNOFF

PRECIPITATION

Rainfall intensity, duration and volume

Snow Melt

Groundwater

LOSSES

Evapotranspiration, Infiltration, Depression Storage

RUNOFF

Hydrograph, Peak flow and volume

Precipitation

Precipitation Data

Data Sources

NOAA, National Weather Service

SCS/CORPS/Flood Control Agencies

Radio TV Stations i.e. Weather Bug

Public Works Departments

Airports

Weather Underground

Private Data i.e. Weather Buffs

Precipitation Data Types

Point Source

Fixed Time Intervals

Variable Time Intervals

Design Storms

Aerial

Satellite Sensors

Precipitation Frequency/Probability

Event Frequency

Uncertainties of nature

Result from random (stochastic) components

Data available is only a sample of the population

Need to relate depth or intensity (depth/time) to duration aerial distribution important

Event Probability P(E)

P(E) = n/N = percent chance of occurrence

Example

10 times/100 years =0.10 or a 10% chance of occurrence in 100 Years

Commonly referred to as a 10 year Storm

Rainfall Return Period and Risk

Return Period/Recurrence Interval T

T = 1/P(E) = 1/0.10 = 10 years

Risk

That an event, P(E), will occur once in “n” successive years.

R = (1 1 1/T) n

T is the occurrence interval of that event based on probability of occurrence.

Challenge

If several large storms occur frequently within a short time frame, public may not understand recurrence interval.

Solution

Use rainfall/time period rather than recurrence interval

Example Milwaukee, WI 10 year storm = 2.1 inches/1 hour

Hydrology Rates

Rainfall Point Source

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

Node - 1

Max Rainfall

1985

1986

Time

1987

1988

Storage and Losses

Interception

Transpiration

Evapotranspiration

Infiltration

Soil moisture storage

Groundwater

Depression storage

Infiltration

Evaporation

Surface Detention

Season

Duration of Rainfall Event

Prior weather events

Temperature, (snowfall events)

Antecedent Rainfall

Runoff

Hydrograph

Peak Flow

Volume

Related to rainfall frequency

Continuous Rainfall or Design Storm

Terminology is used for Engineering purposes to reflect frequency of occurrence

Varies based on method and catchment

parameters

Streamflow Post Development

Schueler, 1987

Changes to Floodplain

Schueler, 1987

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Rainfall and Runoff Results

Node - 18E1-135C

[Max Flow = 26.6955]

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

25

20

15

10

5

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

1 Tue

8 Tue

15 Tue

22 Tue

1 Thu

8 Thu

15 Thu

22 Thu

1 Sun

8 Sun

Apr 2008

Time

Design Storms

Concept

A design storm of a given frequency will produce a simulated runoff peak and volume having the same frequency. Example: a 5year rainfall will produce a 5-year runoff peak flow and volume.

Derived from

Intensity Duration Frequency Data

Historical Events

Statistical or Stochastic Methods

Used for

Storage Basic Design

Sewer Design

Flood Mapping

Computational Methods

Rational Method

Quantified

SCS National Engineering Handbook

Santa Barbara Urban Hydrograph

TR55

Simulation

TR20

Storm Water Management Model SWMM

Hydraulic Engineering Center Series (HEC)

HSPF

Flexible Rainfall Data Input

Single Event or Continuous

Constant or Variable time

Steps

Design Storms i.e. SCS Type II

Generate Statistics on Rain and Graph the Storms

Import and Analyze NWS, AES

and Earth Info Data

Import and Analyze Local Rainfall Data using a template

of historical and design storms

Rainfall
17.5
15.0
12.5
10.0
7.5
5.0
2.5
0.0
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1100
T im e (m inutes )
Rain (in./hr)

Infiltration Options

 • Horton – with Cumulative Maximum Infiltration • Green-Ampt • Uniform Loss – Proportional Loss – Initial and Continuing Loss – Initial and Proportional Loss • SCS

Fraction Initial Abstraction

Fixed Depth Initial Abstraction

Horton Infiltration

Green-Ampt Equation

Runoff, Evaporation, Infiltration

Node - 3/2

Max Infiltration

Rainfall Total
Evaporation
Infiltration
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
9AM
12PM
3PM
1 Tue Jan 2008
Time
Hydrology Rates

Hydrology Methods

SWMM Runoff

Kinematic Wave

Laurenson

SCS

Rational Method

Unit Hydrographs

SWMM Runoff

CONCEPT:

Developed by the USA EPA as a deterministic approach to runoff

Data Needs

Drainage Area

Percent Impervious

Basin Slope and Width

Rainfall

Evaporation

Infiltration Method

Limitations

Lumped Catchment Parameters

Runoff Mode Details

d
d s

Catchment Surfaces

Subcatchment Width

SWMM Runoff Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

SWMM Runoff Output Data

Node - RUNOFF

[Max Flow = 222.8755]

0

10

20

30

200

150

100

50

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Kinematic Wave Runoff

CONCEPT:

Similar to the USA EPA SWMM Runoff, it uses the kinematic

wave component of the St. Venant shallow flow equations

Data Needs

Drainage Area

Percent Impervious

Basin Slope and Width

Rainfall

Evaporation

Infiltration Method

Limitations

Lumped Catchment Parameters

Kinematic Wave Runoff Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Kinematic Wave Runoff Output Data

Node - KINEMATIC

[Max Flow = 253.6939]

0

10

20

30

250

200

150

100

50

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Laurenson Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Developed by Laurenson (1964) by routing runoff through non-

linear catchment storage using separate hydrographs from

pervious and impervious areas.

Data Needs

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Storage Delay parameter

• Manning’s n

Slope

Rainfall

Limitations

Lumped Catchment Parameters

Laurenson Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Laurenson Output Data

Node - LAURENSON

[Max Flow = 140.5219]

0

10

20

30

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

SCS Hydrology

CONCEPT:

Developed by the USDA NRCS (formerly SCS)

Data Needs

Drainage Area

Rainfall

Time of Concentration

Curve Number

Shape Factor

Limitations

Limited Infiltration

Limited use for continuous rainfall

Do not use for storms less than 0.5 inches

Do not use for frozen ground conditions

SCS Hydrology

CONCEPT:

Developed by the USDA NRCS (formerly SCS)

Data Needs

Drainage Area

Rainfall

Time of Concentration

Curve Number

Shape Factor

Limitations

Limited Infiltration

Limited use for continuous rainfall

Do not use for storms less than 0.5 inches

Do not use for frozen ground conditions

SCS Details

 • – • – – – – •

SCS Infiltration

Initial Abstraction, Ia=0.2*S (Default) Potential Maximum Abstraction, S=(1000/CN)-10

Pe=(P-Ia)^2/(P-Ia+S)

SCS Runoff Input Data

SCS Runoff Output Data

XP-SWMM Time Series

SCS
TRIANGULAR
SCS-DEPTH
200
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Value

Time

Rational Method

CONCEPT:

Method developed by Emil Kuichling in 1889 (Q=C i A) as a

simplified approach to runoff using the Design Storm Approach

Data Needs

Drainage Area

Intensity Duration Frequency Curves

Drainage Coefficient (0 to 1.0)

Time of Concentration

Limitations

Limited Infiltration

No hydrograph

Rational Method

Critical catchment response:

Rainfall duration (Td)=ToC

Qpeak=k*CIA k=unit conversion constant C=runoff co-efficient I=intensity against the ToC A=catchment area

Intensity Duration Frequency

CONCEPT:

Curves used with the Rational Method (Q = C i A). Method to estimate peak flow based on total watershed area at specific locations. The duration of the rainfall must be equal to the Time of Concentration, T c .

T c = Inlet Time

(overland flow plus channel flow to first inlet) plus time of flow in the system to the point of design

Typical IDF Curve

Rational Method Global Input Data

Rational Method Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Rational Method Output Data

Node - Method

[Max Flow = 91.8844]

0

2

4

6

8

80

60

40

20

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

Tc
 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Unit Hydrograph(s)

CONCEPT:

Developed by different engineers in various areas as a simplified

approach to runoff

Data Needs (varies depending on method selected)

Effective Rainfall Duration

Peak Direct Runoff Rate

Basin Lag Time

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Time of Concentration

Runoff Curve Number

Rainfall

Limitations

Can over estimate peak runoff rate

Not valid for storm durations over 24 hours

Nash Unit Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Developed in 1957, a conceptual catchment model that

rout an unit inflow through a series of identical linear

reservoirs.

Data Needs

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Time of Concentration

Exponent (Basin lag)

Rainfall

Limitations

requires calibration data to base input data

Nash’s Unit Hydrograph

Hydroeurope2010 – Team 8

Nash’s Unit Hydrograph Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Nash’s Unit Hydrograph Output Data

Node - NASH

[Max Flow = 197.5133]

0

10

20

30

200

150

100

50

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Snyder’s Unit Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Developed by Snyder (1938) as a synthetic unit hydrograph for basins ranging from 10 to 10,000 mi 2 .

Data Needs (varies depending on method selected)

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Basin Lag Time

Storage Coefficient

Rainfall

Limitations

Can over estimate peak runoff rate

Not valid for storm durations over 24 hours

Snyder’s Synthetic Unit Hydrograph

Snyder’s Unit Hydrograph Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Snyder’s Unit Hydrograph Output Data

Node - SNYDER

[Max Flow = 148.4071]

0

10

20

30

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Santa Barbara Unit Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Based on the SCS methodology, it uses incremental runoff

depths, instantaneous hydrographs, imaginary reservoir

and the basin time of concentration.

Data Needs

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Rainfall

Time of Concentration

Curve Number

Limitations

Basins larger than 1,000 acres

SBUH Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

SBUH Output Data

Node - SBUH

[Max Flow = 125.5993]

0

10

20

30

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Alameda Unit Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Developed as a modification of the Snyder method for the

Alameda County Flood Control District.

Data Needs

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Stream Length

Centroid Length

Stream Slope

• Basin ‘n’

Rainfall

Limitations

Can over estimate peak runoff rate

Not valid for storm durations over 24 hours

Alameda Unit Hydrograph Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Alameda Unit Hydrograph Output Data

Node - ALAMEDA

[Max Flow = 113.9665]

0

10

20

30

100

80

60

40

20

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Time Area Unit Hydrograph

CONCEPT:

Developed by Watkins (1963) using separate hydrographs from

pervious and impervious areas along with the time of

concentration.

Data Needs

Drainage Area (impervious and pervious)

Time of Concentration

Rainfall

Limitations

Can over estimate peak runoff rate

Not valid for storm durations over 24 hours

Time Area Method

Time Area Unit Hydrograph Input Data

(cfs) Hydrology RatesFlow

Time Area Unit Hydrograph Output Data

Node - TIMEAREA

[Max Flow = 194.1467]

0

10

20

30

200

150

100

50

0

Rainfall Total

Flow

 1 Fri 3AM 6AM Jan 1993 Time

Flow Comparison

 Name Max Flow cfs KINEMATIC 254 RUNOFF 223 NASH 198 SCS-DEPTH 196 TIMEAREA 194 SCS 170 TRIANGULAR 164 SNYDER 148 LAURENSON 141 SBUH 126 ALAMEDA 114 Rational Method 92

2D Direct Rainfall

CONCEPT:

Allows rainfall onto the 2D Grid and can be applied to polygon

areas (1 or multiple polygons)

Data Needs

Land surface grid (DTM) needed

Rainfall applied grid cells

Initial & continuing losses

Surface roughness

Rainfall

Limitations

Only one type of infiltration (initial and continuing)

2D Direct Rainfall

Thank you!

Bob.Carr @xpsoftware.com

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XP Software, Inc.

1-888-554-5022

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