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Effects of non-linearity in storage-discharge relationships on design flood estimates

By Ataur Rahman and Ashantha Goonetilleke


Rainfall-based flood estimation techniques are commonly adopted in hydrological design. Runoff routing models are widely used in Australia, which use either a linear or nonlinear storage-discharge relationship. Australian Rainfall and Runoff recommends the use of a nonlinear storage-discharge relationship; though, many have proposed other types of storage-discharge relationships. This paper adopts a Monte Carlo simulation technique to examine the effects of nonlinearity in storage-discharge relationship on design flood estimates. This simulates thousands of rainfall events, which are then routed through a runoff routing model to generate streamflow hydrographs. The nonlinearity parameter in the storage discharge relationship is varied to quantify its effects on design flood estimates. It is found that nonlinearity parameter has significant effect on design floods, particularly for larger floods. Results from three study catchments indicate that a nonlinear storage-discharge relationship is preferable to linear relationship

Topics: 090508 Water Quality Engineering, 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling, 090701 Environmental Engineering Design, Runoff routing, Storage, discharge relationship, Flood estimation, Design floods
Publisher: Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
Year: 2001
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