Regional rainfall-runoff relations for simulation of streamflow for watersheds in Du Page County, Illinois

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4035




Rainfall and streamflow data collected from July 1986 through September 1993 were utilized to calibrate and verify a continuous-simulation rainfall-runoff model for three watersheds (11.8--18.0 square miles in area) in Du Page County. Classification of land cover into three categories of pervious (grassland, forest/wetland, and agricultural land) and one category of impervious subareas was sufficient to accurately simulate the rainfall-runoff relations for the three watersheds. Regional parameter sets were obtained by calibrating jointly all parameters except fraction of ground-water inflow that goes to inactive ground water (DEEPFR), interflow recession constant (IRC), and infiltration (INFILT) for runoff from all three watersheds. DEEPFR and IRC varied among the watersheds because of physical differences among the watersheds. Two values of INFILT were obtained: one representing the rainfall-runoff process on the silty and clayey soils on the uplands and lake plains that characterize Sawmill Creek, St. Joseph Creek, and eastern Du Page County; and one representing the rainfall-runoff process on the silty soils on uplands that characterize Kress Creek and parts of western Du Page County. Regional rainfall-runoff relations, defined through joint calibration of the rainfall-runoff model and verified for independent periods, presented in this report, allow estimation of runoff for watersheds in Du Page County with an error in the total water balance less than 4.0 percent; an average absolute error in the annual-flow estimates of 17.1 percent with the error rarely exceeding 25 percent for annual flows; and correlation coefficients and coefficients of model-fit efficiency for monthly flows of at least 87 and 76 percent, respectively. Close reproduction of the runoff-volume duration curves was obtained. A frequency analysis of storm-runoff volume indicates a tendency of the model to undersimulate large storms, which may result from underestimation of the amount of impervious land cover in the watershed and errors in measuring rainfall for convective storms. Overall, the results of regional calibration and verification of the rainfall-runoff model indicate the simulated rainfall-runoff relations are adequate for stormwater-management planning and design for watersheds in Du Page County.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Regional rainfall-runoff relations for simulation of streamflow for watersheds in Du Page County, Illinois
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
vi, 80 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.