Estimating an impedance-to-flow parameter for flood peak prediction in semiarid watersheds

Dave Stewart, Evan Canfield, Muluneh Yitayew, Mary Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The time of concentration equation used in Pima County, Arizona, includes a hydrologic parameter representing the impedance to flow for peak discharge estimation on small [typically less than 2.59 km2 (1 mi2)] semiarid watersheds. The impedance-to-flow parameter is similar in function to the hydraulic Manning's n roughness coefficient in the kinematic wave time of concentration equation; however, the impedance to flow is a hydrologic parameter representing all portions of a watershed rather than a hydraulic parameter representing friction loss during uniform flow. To relate the impedance-to-flow parameter to physical watershed characteristics, impedance-to-flow values were calculated for return period and observed events on five undeveloped rangeland watersheds and correlated with Manning's n roughness coefficients determined from particle size analysis and simulated flow conditions. Impedance to flow displayed a positive trend with observed peak discharge on each watershed. The results indicate that local impedance-to-flow values can be developed for time of concentration equations using observed rainfall and runoff data, as well as measurable field characteristics. The impedance-to-flow parameter allows for a physical basis in time of concentration estimation without the additional detail of a physically based model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number005003QHE
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydrologic Engineering
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Watersheds
watershed
prediction
Surface roughness
Hydraulics
Potassium Iodide
peak discharge
Runoff
Particle size analysis
roughness
Rain
Kinematics
parameter
Friction
hydraulics
return period
rangeland
friction
kinematics
particle size

Keywords

  • Hydraulic roughness
  • Hydrologic models
  • Impedance to flow
  • Peak flow
  • Travel time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Cite this

Estimating an impedance-to-flow parameter for flood peak prediction in semiarid watersheds. / Stewart, Dave; Canfield, Evan; Yitayew, Muluneh; Nichols, Mary.

In: Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 3, 005003QHE, 03.2010, p. 182-190.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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