Model hydrographs

Water Supply Paper 2005




Model hydrographs are composed of pairs of dimensionless ratios, arrayed in tabular form, which, when modified by the appropriate values of rainfall exceed and by the time and areal characteristics of the drainage basin, satisfactorily represent the flood hydrograph for the basin. Model bydrographs are developed from a dimensionless translation hydrograph, having a time base of T hours and appropriately modified for storm duration by routing through reservoir storage, S=kOx. Models fall into two distinct classes: (1) those for which the value of x is unity and which have all the characteristics of true unit hydrographs and (2) those for which the value of x is other than unity and to which the unit-hydrograph principles of proportionality and superposition do not apply. Twenty-six families of linear models and eight families of nonlinear models in tabular form from the principal subject of this report. Supplemental discussions describe the development of the models and illustrate their application. Other sections of the report, supplemental to the tables, describe methods of determining the hydrograph characteristics, T, k, and x, both from observed hydrograph and from the physical characteristics of the drainage basin. Five illustrative examples of use show that the models, when properly converted to incorporate actual rainfall excess and the time and areal characteristics of the drainage basins, do indeed satisfactorily represent the observed flood hydrographs for the basins.

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USGS Numbered Series
Model hydrographs
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Water Supply Paper
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U.S. G.P.O.,
v, 85 p. :ill. ;24 cm.