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Introduction to Hydrology (lecture1)

A: Hydrologic Cycle / Water Cycle

1. Hydrology
- is the study of various steps through which water go through in the hydrologic cycle.

-These steps include:

a) Evaporation

heat from sun caused the water from rivers, lakes and oceans to
evaporate into the atmosphere
b) Transpiration- from plants leaf into the atmosphere.
c) Condensation - of water particles in space to forms cloud
d) Precipitation- rainfall on land and sea
e) Interceptionrain stuck to plants leaf, vegetation, wetting the ground
f) Surface Runoff- Water flowing on land surface into river and then flow to sea
g) InfiltrationSome amount of water will infiltrate and percolate into the ground
h) Groundwater flow- subsurface flow of water, and it might come out as springs 9can
also see it in well)

Engineering Hydrology deals with:

1. Estimation of water resources.
2. The study of processes such as precipitation, runoff, evapotranspiration and their
3. The study of problems such as floods and draughts, and strategies to tackle the

2. Practical applications of hydrology are found in tasks like:

a) Design and operation of hydraulic structures (spillway, sluice gate, river concrete
lining etc.)
b) Water supply system (dam, drawoff tower, pipelines etc.)
c) Wastewater treatment and disposal
d) Drainage and irrigation (e.g. drain system for flooded area)
e) Hydropower generation
f) Flood control, erosion, sediment control, etc.
- Knowledge of hydrology are used to analyze problems involved, how to solve it,
how to plan and manage the available water resources etc.

Hydraulic Structures What is the purpose of Concrete lining the river?

-note the concrete pile (or steel sheet pile), pile cap, and concrete lining

This is the place where Sungai Gombak (left) meets Sungai Klang (right). Look at the sheet

Here steel sheet pile is used instead of concrete pile

Note the different color between water from Sg Gombak and Sg Klang. What does it shows?

On the left is Sg Gombak and on the right is Sg Klang. The photo shows there is a lot of erosion
and sedimentation occurring upstream of Sg Klang, compared to Sg Gombak.

This is the natural river, before construction of concrete lining

What are the reasons why so much money was spent to change these 2 rivers?

1. To enlarge the cross-section of the rivers, increasing its capacity. This reduces possibilities of
2. To increase the Manning roughness coefficients n of channels bed. This means smoother
flow, less friction, more efficient flow.
3. The sheet piles protect the riverbank and reduced erosion of riverbanks.

Sluice gate in Malaysia, many times it will look like this.

What is the purpose of sluice gate?

It is to stop flow of water from one area to another area. During planting of paddy, a lot of water
is needed, so Sluice gate is lifted up and water flow into paddy field.

The gate can be lowered to completely block flow of water.

Why is it used in coastal area?
Because we dont want saline water from the sea, move far inland during high tide at sea and
low flow in river. Saline water will kill planted vegetable and trees.

Sluice gate in Irrigation canal in Malaysia to supply water when paddy need it/planting season

Sluice gate that is opened sideways.

Morning Glory/ Bell-mouth shaped Spillway it exist in a reservoir. What is the purpose of it?
Morning glory spillway or side spillway ensures water level in dam does not exceed MWL
(maximum Water Level).
When rain heavily upstream, water level in reservoirs will increase. Excess water will enter the
spillway and released downstream of the dam.
Without spillway, water can overtop the dam, erode the base and the foundation of the dam
resulting in erosion. Severe erosion can cause instability and even dam failures.

A submerged Morning Glory Weir

A Side Spillway What is the purpose of it? Where do you think this is?

The purpose is to safely channel excess water in dam to downstream area. It is normally located
on the side of a dam.

This is a large hydropower dam. The Side Spillway release water when it exceed the MWL.
Note the high energy in water released. It can cause severe erosion to riverbanks and riverbed.

Chute blocks in a spillway. What is the purpose of the blocks?

Water upstream of dam has high potential energy and when it flows downstream, it can cause
severe erosion to riverbanks and riverbed. The blocks caused turbulence to water, dissipating
much of its energy.

3. All the steps in hydrologic cycle can be divided into 3 systems (on ground, above, below):
a) Surface water system
- Include overland flow, surface runoff, and groundwater outflow
b) Subsurface water system
- Include infiltration, groundwater flow
c) Atmospheric water system
- Include evaporation, transpiration, interception and rainfall

4 . Figure of Hydrologic Cycle


To practicing engineer (hydrologist) who plan and build hydraulic structures, knowledge
of hydrology is important. Suppose:
a. A City wishes to increase its water supply
- engineer must look for source of supply, e.g. uninhabited mountain catchment area,
underground water etc., and decide which is better source (cheaper, cleaner, more reliable
Why do we prefer uninhabited mountain catchment area?
All human activities will eventually release discharge into drains and it enters river, causing
pollution to river water quality. When there is no human activities upstream of a river, river
water will be clean. It will be easier and cheaper to treat it for water supply.

What are sources of water for water supply in Malaysia?

1. Reservoirs upstream of dam. 2. Rivers

3.Groundwater (Kota Bharu)

- Engineers then must estimate amount of water that can be supplied, amount of rain and
length of drought period, amount of water lost to evaporation etc.
- What are the dimensions of the dam, size of pipelines? All these need to be studied and
relevant data collected and analyzed to finally come up with the decision.


Meteorological data are important in the study of hydrology.

What are meteorological data?
They include streamflow data, precipitation data, humidity, temperature, radiation and
wind speed. They are measured using certain equipment and recorded. Most important are
streamflow and precipitation data which are also called hydro-meteorological data)


Civilization is dependent on water supply. As cities become larger and industrialization

continues, the role of hydrologist will also increase to meet demands for water for
drinking, irrigation, industry, and power generation.

Some related data : Klang Gate Dam

a. Water Surface Area

= 2.73 km2

b. Dam maximum height

= 36.89 m

c. Length of crest (top)

= 138.72m

d. Width of crest (bottom)

= 3.67m

e. Drawoff Tower 5 levels of water intake. Water flow by gravity from drawoff tower to WTP (water treatment
plant) 11.3km away at Bukit Nanas.

This is not Klang Gate Dam. Notice the Draw-off Tower and The Bell mouth Spillway

Some related data: Three Gorges Dam (China) World largest Hydropower Dam
a. Water Surface Area

= 1045 km2

b. Dam maximum height

= 185 m

c. Length of crest (top)

= 2335m (2.3km)

d. Width of crest

= 40m at the top, 115m at the bottom)

e. Catchment area

=1,000,000 km2

f. Turbines and Total Capacity= 32 turbines, 22,500 Megawatt

(Bakun Dam 8 turbines x 300MW = 2400 MW max capacity)
g. Dam reservoir is

= 600 km long

Some related data:

Capacity of Bakun Dam 2400MW x 365 x24 hour/day =21,024,000MWh = 21,024 GWh
The electricity consumption in Malaysia in 2014 is 127,279 GWh (Bakun can supply close to 20% but
is not. Why? Then the electricity is used for what? Other dam downstream of Bakun was also planned)
Electricity generation in Malaysia

Energy generation in Malaysia (hydropower contributes only 4%)

Photos of Klang Gate Dam note the i. Concrete Arch Dam Structure,
ii. The Overflow weir and the Side Spillway
iii. The Drawoff Tower

The Draw-Off Tower will consists of valve at 5 different elevation, Highest, High, Medium,
Low, Lowest.

When one valve is opened, raw water from reservoirs will flow through large pipe to WTP
(Water Treatment Plant) to be treated, and then sent to domestic consumers and industries.

Which valve do you think we will open? The top no 1, no 2, no 3, no 4 or no 5?

We will opened valve no 1. Because at top level, water is cleaner with less colloids and
sediments. If water level is below level of valve 1, we open valve no 2.

Water being released through one of the weir (Sluice gate lifted for that weir).

Aerial view of Klang Gate Dam

Chilling on top of the hill viewing the spectacular landscape of the Klang Gate Dam,

The view from the spillway it is still wet, maybe from water being released through it earlier.

Note the 4 sluicegate closing the weirs, and the 4 spillways.

i. What are the two parallel pipes for?
ii. It will go where?
iii. What is the purpose of the hole under the spillway opening?
The two parallel pipes are to transfer raw water from dams reservoir to WTP. The hole is
for removing sediments that accumulate at the bottom of the dam, reducing dams

Aerial View of Sungai Selangor Dam

I visited your senior who is doing his Industrial Training there (Oct 2014)

The feature of Sungai Selangor Dam note all the components of a Dam
- Dam embankment, Dam Crest, Overflow Weir, Spillway, Plunge Pool, Draw-off Tower, Reservoir

Closer view of the Overflow Weir and The Drawoff Tower

What does the red earth in the photo below tell you?
It tells that water level in the dam is very low. If the dry period persist, water rationing might be

Klang Gate Dam under construction note the small size of a person there with respect to the
size of the dam..

Three Gorges Dam The largest hydropower dam in the world

Night view of the dam

Note the size of the car compared to the width of the dams crest (2.3km long concrete dam)

- How does a ship pass through a dam?

-A dam will always have difference of height of water upstream and downstream
- This difference in height allows the potential energy in water to be transferred into electricity,
by allowing it to rotate a turbine.
- However, a ship needs to move through the same river. How do ship cruise through from
upstream to downstream in the same river? Note the difference in height of water upstream and
downstream of the dam

Which way is the direction of the flow in the river ?




Note the series of gate

One of the 32 turbines at Three Gorges Dam

Series of turbines

B: Catchment Area / River Basin/ Watershed

1. It is an area of land where all rainwater that fall in the area will flow into one river.
2. It is also called drainage area, drainage basin, watershed or river basin.
3. A catchment area is separated from its neighbour by a ridge or water divide.
4. We draw this water divide by looking at Topogaphic map and delineate the catchment
boundary by estimating which way the rainwater will flow.
5. We then use planimeter to measure the size of the area for that catchment.
6. The amount of flow from that area can then be calculated by the equations below:

Rational Method:
Q = CiA


Q = volume of water from that rain event

C = landuse coefficients
i = rainfall intensity of that rain event.
A = Catchment area.

Modified Rational Method

Q = CsCiA


Q = volume of water from that rain event

Cs = Storage coefficients
C = landuse coefficients
i = rainfall intensity of that rain event.
A = Catchment area.

Klang River Basin / Watershed /Catchment Area: is an area where all rain that fall in that
catchment will flow into Klang River

The 3 rivers passed through city center causing frequent flash floods. To solve this problem,
water in Klang River is diverted into Kerayong River using Smart Tunnel bypassing city center.

The blue line is the boundary of Kuala Lumpur. Note the cities in the river basin - Port Klang,
Klang, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and KL

This is all the river basins in the state of Selangor.

- Note the Sungai Selangor Watershed and Sungai Klang Watershed.
- What are the 3 possible major purposes of a dam?
- What are other benefits of a dam?
1. Water Supply, Flood Mitigation, Hydropower.
2. Recreation/Tourism, Aquaculture.

Note the 2 enclosed areas above which are Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The 2 rivers passing through them are Sg Klang and Sg Langat.
The river passing in front of UKM is Sungai Langat

This is all the river basin in the state of Perak.

Which river most likely will be the widest river? Why?

Sungai Perak. Because it has the largest catchment area.

All rain that fall in that catchment area will flow into that river.

Which river has the largest catchment area?

Note how the state boundaries follow the catchment area boundaries.

C: Water Budget Equation

1. Imagine one large lake. There will be many movement of water entering and leaving it.
2. This movement of water into it will include Precipitation, Stream Inflow, and Groundwater
Seepage into it.
3. The movement of water out of it will include Evaporation, Transpiration, and Groundwater
Seepage out of it.
4. There will be increase or decrease of water level in the lake due to these inflow and outflow.
5. The Equation for Water Budget is:
Change in Storage = Mass Inflow Mass Outflow

Example 1.1 (page 6)

A lake had a water surface elevation of 103.200 m above datum at the beginning of a certain
month. In that month, the lake received an average inflow of 6.0m3/s from surface runoff sources.
In the same period, the outflow from the lake had an average value of 6.5m3/s. Further, in that
month, the lake received a rainfall of 145 mm and the evaporation from the lake surface was
estimated at 6.10 cm. Write the water-budget equation for the lake and calculate the water surface
elevation of the lake at the end of the month. The average lake-surface area can be taken as 5000ha
(1ha=100m x 100m= 10,000 m2) Assume that there is no contribution to or from the groundwater
storage. Ans = New water surface elevation at the end of the month = 103.2 m + 0.058 m =
103.258 m

Lets watch the video 1 on Hydrologic Cycle (Water Cycle). The content includes:
1. The amount of water on earth is the same today as it is millions of years before.
2. The water on earth moves in continuous loop.
3. There is life on earth because earth has this perfect water cycle.
4. Water cycle it is fascinating
- it is around us all the time
- it is described by 2 words, FLOWS and STORES.
-it is series of water flows and water stores(storages)
5. Statistics

- 70% of water on earth is in the ocean

- 97% of water on earth is saline (containing salt)
- 2/3 of fresh water is in ice sheets and glaciers
- 30% of fresh water on earth is groundwater.
- only 0.3% of fresh water on earth is surface water.
- of the 0.3% surface water, 87% is in lakes, 11% in wetlands and 2% in rivers.

6. There are many names for every movement of water in water cycles. They are:
1. Precipitation
2. Surface Runoff
3. Infiltration
4. Interception
5. Groundwater flow
6. Evaporation
7. Transpiration
8. Condensation

Lets watch the video 2 on Three Gorges Dam in China, the processes and its
Question: How do you construct structures in fast moving water?

Exercise 1: Draw the catchment boundaries by drawing the water divide for the
watershed given below.

1. Draw The Sub-Catchment by Drawing The Water Divide

1.Draw The Sub-Catchment by Drawing The Water Divide

Note: At least 50% of mid-sem exam questions will be from homework.
Homework 1
1. Print this diagram and draw the catchment boundaries of all rivers.

2. This is the map of UKM. The red colored/dark colored area is the highest ground while the red line is
Tasik Kejuruteraan. The big blue line is Sungai Langat and the small lines are tributaries. Print one page
in black and white. Draw the catchment boundary of all the rivers by drawing the possible water divide.

3. Refer to Engineering Hydrology Book by K Subramanya page 14, and do the following:
a. Revision Questions
b. Problems
c. Objective Questions

: 1.1
: 1.2, 1.3, 1.5
: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9

Some explanations as guidance to solve assignment given

Problems 1.1
Two and half centimeters of rain per day over an area of 200 km2 is equivalent to
average rate of input of how many Cubics meters per second of water to that area ?
= 2.5cm/day x 200km2 x 1m/100cm x 1000m/1km x 1000m/1km x 1day/24hour x
1hr/60minutes x 1min/60sec
= 57.87 m3/sec

Chapter 2 - Precipitation (Part 1)


The term precipitation refers to all forms of water that reach the earth from
the atmosphere. They can be rainfall (liquid), snowfall, sleet and hail (solid),
frost, dew and mist (gaseous).


- Only rainfall contribute significantly to streamflow and flood flow.

- Rain can be categorised into:
light rain (2.5mm/hour)
moderate rain (2.5-7.5 mm/hr)
heavy rain ( >7.5mm/hr)


Heat caused water to become vapor, rises up into the atmosphere where it is
cooler. Slowly water vapor condenses around nuclei, which is salt particles or
product of combustion, forming into liquid (droplets size ~0.1mm) and fall to
the ground as rain. The magnitude of precipitation varies with time and space
(temporal and spatial). This variation is responsible for many hydrological
problems, such as floods and draughts, and makes prediction of them difficult.


A front is the interface between two distinct air masses. When a warm air
mass and cold air mass meet, the warmer air mass is lifted over colder mass,
and a front was formed. The warmer air become cooler, forms cloud and fall
as precipitation.


-A cyclone is a large low-pressure region with circular wind motion and can
be 100-200 km in diameter.
- It is called cyclone in India, hurricane in USA, and typhoon in South East
- The center is called the eye and it is calm, but outside of it, wind speed can
reach 200 kmph.
- Figure below from the book show the wind speed, rainfall intensity and
pressure inside a cyclone/ hurricane/typhoon.

Note the sizes in diameter of a cyclone can be hundreds of kilometer.


Precipitation/ Rainfall
- It vary greatly in space and time
- It can be represented by isohyetal maps with isohyets as contour of
constant rainfall
- Isohyetal maps are prepared by interpolating rainfall data recorded at gaged


- Precipitation is expressed in terms of the depth of which rainfall water would

stand on an area if all the rain were collected on it.
- Thus 1 cm of rain over a catchment of 1 km2 represent a volume of water of
10,000 m3 (1cm x 1m/100cm x 1,000,000 m2/km2 = 10,000 m3)


The precipitation is collected and measured using raingage/ raingauge.

These rain gages can be:
a. Non-recording rain gages.
b. Recording rain gages
c. Telemetering Rain Gages
d. Radar measurement of rainfall


The record from rain gages consist of a set of rainfall depth recorded for
successive increments in time. From this record we can plot isohyetal maps,
rainfall hyetograph, and rainfall mass curve.


We established rainfall station to obtain truly representative sample of

rainfall over the area that the station cover. To obtain this, we need to:
a. Select correct type of equipment
b. Set station according to regulations
c. Check stations regularly for damage
d. Wind shield was used to overcome the effect of wind on rainfall

11. Non-Recording raingage Simple raingage.

a. Consist of plastic funnel, inner tube and outer can.
b. Need to take reading at 8 a.m. every day and then empty the gage manually
each day.
c. If you miss one reading, you get a cumulative total of two days and no way to
figure out what the previous day reading was.

A see-through rain gage below allows you to record rain data every day without
removing the water inside. Have to know evaporation rate.

12. Recording raingage can be of many types.

a. Tipping Bucket Type
- Is the most popular type of recording raingage
- The catch from the funnel falls onto one of a pair of small buckets. When
0.25m of rainfall accumulated in a bucket, it tips over and bring the other
one into position.
- The tipping actuates an electrically driven pen to trace a record on the chart.
- In later version of Tipping Bucket raingage, the device recorded how many
times the button tipped over, translates it into the amount of rain. Note that
this device does not store water compared to a simple rain gage.
- Is it more accurate or less accurate? Is it better? What is the reason for that?
It is more accurate because the data was instantly recorded. Stored water over a
day will experience large amount evaporation and thus the rainfall data recorded
will not be accurate. Not needing to store water allow for rain gage to be small and
compact, not bulky.

- A more advanced version of Tipping Bucket rain gage is as below. It allow for storage of
up to one year of rainfall data. Is it advisable to check the data once a year? Why is that
It is not advisable to store rainfall data over very long period without periodic checking.
This is because if the device was damaged, then rainfall data will be unknown for a long
period. Periodic checking is better.

Self-Contained Automatic Logging Rain Gauge : This unit can be placed anywhere, and
log rainfall data for up to a year using the self-contained data logger. Simply plug the
data logger into the USB port of your Windows PC to download, graph, and export the
data using the software provided.

MadgeTech Rain101A Rainfall Data Logging System, with Tipping Bucket Rain Gage, Data
Logger, Water Resistant Enclosure, and IFC200 Interface Cable and Software Kit

- Note that the graph of rainfall data is the amount of rainfall per unit time (rainfall
intensity eg. mm/day or mm/min or mm/hour)
- It can be amount of rainfall for every day for basic rain gage, or it can be every 1
minute if it is using tipping bucket rain gage.

b. Weighing Bucket Type

-The catch from the funnel empties into a bucket mounted on a weighing scale.
- The weight of the bucket and its content are recorded on a clockwork driven
chart. It can record for as long as one week.

c. Natural Syphon Type

- The rainfall collected by a funnel shaped collector is led into a float chamber
causing the float to rise.
- A pen attached to a float record the elevation.
- When the float reached preset maximum level, the float chamber is emptied
- The typical chart for Natural Syphon Type raingage is shown below. It show
a rainfall of 53.8mm in 30 hours.

The act of a syphon

d. Telemetering Raingage (Telemetry- Transmit to long distance station)

- These raingages contains electronic units to transmit the data of rainfall to a
base station at regular interval.
- Telemetering gages are important in gathering data for what area ?
important basin like KL area,
frequently flooded area,
Mountainous and inaccessible area

e. Radar measurement of rainfall

- The meteorological radar is a powerful instrument for measuring the areal
extent, location and movement of rain storm.
- Radar can also determine the amounts of rainfall over large area

Such is the technology that existed today. There is radar that can calculate how
much rain will fall at what place and how much flow in the river will be.

Where do you think this information will be valuable ?

Early warning system can help reduce lost of life in frequently severely flooded area.
13. Certain rules must be followed while setting up rainfall stations to eliminate
errors (DIDs regulation):
a. The stations should be on level ground (not hilly slopes) to avoid air
b. The gage must be on a post, the mouth is 1.35m above ground, avoid
c. The gage must be at a distance of 4 times the height of object around
it.(The book say no object should be nearer the gage than 30m, or twice
the height of the obstruction)
d. The rain gage must be equipped with wind shield
e. Fence must be built around the station to protect from interference from
14. Raingage Networks
- The catching area of a raingage is very small compared to the areal extent
of a storm.
- To get representative picture of a storm over a catchment, we need a
certain number of raingage.
- Too large a number is not economical
- To small a number might give a wrong representation of a storm.
- There is an equation to calculate optimum number of raingage in an area
-World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recommended the following
a. In flat region of temperate, mediterranean and tropical zone
1 station for 600 900 km2 (30km x 30km)
Acceptable 1 station for 900 3000km2 (55km x 55km)

b. In mountainous regions of temperate, mediterranean and tropical zone

i. Ideal
1 station for 100 250 km2 (15km x 15km)
ii. Acceptable 1 station for 250 1000km2 (31km x 31km)
(note the distance between raingage is smaller on mountainous area. Why ?)
Cloud with water vapor go up the mountain, become denser and comes down as
rain. Thus the variation in rainfall values over mountainous area is higher. Need
more rain gages

c. 10% of raingage should be equipped with self-recording gages to know

the intensities of rainfall (not simple raingage)
15. The equation to calculate optimum number of raingage is on page 30 of
Subramanyas book
N = ( Cv/ )2

N = Optimal number of stations

Cv = Coefficients of variations
= Allowable degree of error

16. Example 2.1 Page 31 (Subramanya)

17. An example of Isohyetal Map of Malaysia

18. Preparation of Data Before using rainfall data, we must check it for
continuity and consistency. We must do pre-cleaning of data
a. Estimation of missing data for estimation of missing rainfall data, the neighbouring
stations data are used.
b. If variation in annual precipitation is within 10%, use single arithmetic method where:
Px = 1/M [P1 + P2 + P3 + . Pm]
c. If variation in annual precipitation is high, use Normal Ratio Methods.
Px = Nx / M [P1/N1 + P2/N2 + .. + Pm/Nm]
Nx = normal annual precipitation at station X

d. Example 2.2

19. Test consistency of record

-Sometimes there is inconsistency of rainfall data, and the reasons are:
a. Shifting of rain gage to new location
b. Area around station undergoing a marked change
c. Change to ecosystem due to calamities like forest fires, landslides etc.
d. Occurrence of observational error.
- We check consistency of record by double-mass curve technique.

- From the Double-mass curve above, we can see that inconsistency started in
Year 1963. We correct it by multiplying with a factor, so that it become a
straight line.
Pcx = (Px) (Correction Ratio) = Px Mc/ Ma = (Px)(c/ a) note: Mc = Y/ X = c / X

20. Example 2.3

A set of data is given in Table 2.3. Test the consistency of the annual rainfall
data of station M and correct the record if there is any discrepancy. Estimate
the mean annual precipitation at station M.

Data is sorted in descending order, which is from year 1979 to year 1950.Cumulative
value of station M (Pm) is calculated and shown in column 3 below. Cumulative
value of 10 neighboring stations were also calculated (Pav) and shown in column 5

The data is then plotted Pm versus Pav , and a double mass curve is produced.
It is shown in Figure 2.8 below.

- From the graph, the break of grade occurred in year 1965.

- The slope of best straight line for year 1979-1969 is Mc = 1.0295.
- The slope of best straight line for year 1968-1950 is Ma=0.8779.
- The correction ratio is Mc / Ma = 1.0295/0.8779 = 1.173
- Each data from pre 1979 is multiplied with value of 1.173. The answer is shown in column 6
and 7 below.

21. Presentation of Rainfall Data

i. Mass Curve is a plot of accumulated precipitation against time
It is useful in extracting information on duration and magnitude of a storm (the flat line
means no rainfall). Note the 1st storm and 2nd storm shown below

Execise: Calculate the intensity (mm/hour) of rainfall for storm 1 and storm 2.

ii. Hyetograph is a plot of the intensity of rainfall against the time interval. It is derived
from Mass Curve and is represented as a bar chart, shown below.

iii. Point Rainfall refers to rainfall data of a station. The data can be listed as daily,
weekly, monthly etc.
iv. Moving Average is a technique for smoothening out the high frequency fluctuations of a
time series to enable a trend to be noticed.

22. Example 2.4:

Annual rainfall recorded at station M for the period of 1950 to 1979 is given in Example 2.3
i. Represent this data as a bar diagram with time in chronological order.
ii. Identify those years in which the annual rainfall is less than 20% of the mean.
iii. Identify those years which annual rainfall is more than the mean.
iv. Plot the three year moving mean of the annual rainfall time series.

a. Calculate the mean which is total of all rainfall divided by amount of year
Mean = 1/30(676 + 578 + 95 + 462 +.+ 612) = 17060/30 = 568.7
b. Calculate for less 20% of mean = 0.8 (mean) = 0.8 (568.7) = 454.96
c. Plot the Bar Diagram with time, and add the line of mean, the line of less 20% of mean. It
will look like below.

d. From the bar chart, we can tell the years where annual rainfall is more than the mean. The
years are 1950, 1951, 1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1978.
e. We can also see the years where annual rainfall is lower than the less than 20% of mean.
f. Calculation of three year moving mean is shown in column 3 and column 4 below

g. We can then plot the 3 year moving mean curve. It look like this. Note that the curve
start in year 1978. No apparent trend can be seen from the plot.

23. Mean Precipitation over an Area

- Rain gage represent only point sampling of areal distribution of a storm. For calculation of
volume of surface runoff (discharge), we need to convert point rainfall values at various stations
into average value over the whole catchment. This is called Mean-Areal-Rainfall.
- We can calculate Mean-Areal-Rainfall using 3 methods
i. Arithmetic Mean Method it is summation of all rainfall data from stations located in
that watershed
divided by the number of stations

ii. Thiessen Polygon Method


This method give weightage on the basis on an area closest to the rainfall station.
Method to draw the polygon is:
1. Draw dotted lines between a stations with surrounding stations
2. Mark the middle point of each dotted lines.
3. Draw a perpendicular lines (90 degree) at each middle marks above.
4. Draw bold lines to produce the polygons
An example of a drawn Thiessen Polygon is as below

The Mean-Areal-Rainfall can be calculated using equation below

Lets do one exercise of drawing the Thiessen Polygon on the Figure given below. After
that calculate Mean-Areal-Rainfall

iii. Isohyetal Method


An isohyet is a line joining points of equal rainfall magnitude.

The isohyets are drawn by considering point rainfall as guides and interpolating between
them. It is similar to drawing elevation contours for Topography map.
The area between two adjacent isohyets are then determined using planimeter.
The isohyets for the catchment is as below. Calculate Mean-Areal-Rainfall

The equation to calculate average rainfall for the whole catchment is

24. Calculating Mean Rainfall of a catchment / Average Rainfall / Mean-ArealRainfall


Lets do Example 2.5. The catchment area and the recorded rainfall at all stations in the
month of August 2011 are given below. Determine the average depth of rainfall for the
basin for August 2011 using Arithmetic Method and Thiessen Polygon Method

The Solution
i. Arithmetic Mean consider only rain gages located in the basin, which is station 1, 2, 4
Mean Monthly Rainfall = 1/3 (121 + 124 + 126) = 127 cm
ii. Thiessen Polygon Method calculation shown in table below

Lets use Isohyetal Method and solve Example 2.7

The calculation is shown in the table below

25. Depth-Area-Duration Relationship


The areal distribution characteristic of a storm of given duration is reflected in its deptharea relationship
For a rainfall of a given duration, the average depth decreases with the area in an
exponential pattern.

( To be continued in Part 2)

1. Draw the isohyetal lines on the figure below. Given are the coordinates of the rainfall
stations and the rainfall values recorded at the stations

2. Estimate the Mean-Areal-Rainfall for the area shown below using:

a) Arithmetic Method
b)Thiessen Polygon Method

Chapter 2 - Precipitation (Part 2)

1. Depth-Area-Duration Relationship

The areal distribution characteristic of a storm of given duration is reflected in its depth-area relationship
For a rainfall of a given duration, the average depth decreases with the area in an exponential pattern.

The highest rainfall at a station is taken as the average depth. Then use equation to extrapolate an
existing storm over the area.

In hydrological studies, it is necessary to have information on the maximum amount of rainfall of

various duration occurring over that catchment area.

The development of relationship between maximum depth-area-duration for a region is known as DAD

Below is typical DAD curves

Steps for DAD analysis

1. The severemost rainstorms that occurred in the region are considered.
2. Isohyetal maps and mass curve of the storm are compiled.
3. Depth-Area curve of a given duration of a storm is prepared
4. From mass curve, various duration and the maximum depth of rainfall in these duration is noted.
5. The maximum depth-area curve for a given duration D is prepared by assuming the area distribution
of rainfall for smaller duration to be similar to the total storm.

6. Repeat the procedures for different storms

7. This produces the envelope curve of maximum depth-area for duration D
8. These are called DAD curves and shown above

What does DAD curve shows?

1. The maximum depth for a given storm decreases with the area
2. For a given area, the maximum depth increases with the duration

Preparation of DAD curves involves considerable computational effort. It requires:

1. Meteorological data
2. Topographical information
3. Detail data of the severemost storms in the past

DAD curves are essential to develop design storms for use in computing the design flood in the
hydrological design of major structures like dam

Below is maximum rain depth observed over the plains of North India. These were due to two storms

Example 2.8:
1. The data from an Isohyetal map of a 24 hour storm is given below. Assuming the storm centre has an
area of 55 km2, and the rainfall depth is 57cm in the storm centre (maximum precipitation), obtain the
depth-area curve of this storm.
2. Use the depth-area curve to estimate the average depth of rainfall over an area of 3200 km2.

1. Rainfall is 57cm at storm centre area of 55 km2.
2. Calculate the mean depth of rainfall for various Isohyetal areas. This is shown in Table 2.7

3. Plot column 7 (average rainfall) versus Column 2 (area enclosed)

2.11 (page 49): Frequency of Point Rainfall


The probability of occurrence of a particular extreme rainfall, for example, a 24 hour maximum rainfall,
is important

We get this by doing Frequency Analysis of point rainfall data

A sequence of rainfall data at a place, arranged in chronological order (arranged in order based on time),
constitutes a Time Series.

Commonly used data series is annual series of annual rainfall values.

We can also make annual series using extreme values of a specified event occurring in a year.

We can list the maximum 24 hour rainfall occurring in a year at a station, to prepare an annual series of
24 hour maximum rainfall value.

The probability of occurrence of an event in this series is studied by Frequency Analysis of this annual
data series.

We must know the simple method of Frequency Analysis, which is predicting the frequency of an event.

We must also know the standard works on probability and statistical methods.

Note that:
P = The Probability of Occurrence of an event of a random variable (e.g. Rainfall) whose
magnitude is equal to or in excess of specified magnitude X.
T = The Recurrence Interval (Return Period) is defined by T
T = 1/ P

If stated that:
..The return period of rainfall of 20cm in 24 hour is 10 years at station A, what does it means?
..It means that on average, rainfall magnitude 20 cm in 24 hour occur once in 10 years. In a long
period of 100 years, 10 such events is expected.

The probability of a rainfall of 20cm in 24hour occurring in any one year at station A is what?
P = 1 / T = 1/ 10 = 0.1
P = Probability of that event occurring
q = Probability of an event not occurring = 1- P

Lets do one example

Analysis of data on maximum 1 day rainfall depth at Chennai indicated that a depth of 300 mm had a
return period of 50 years. Determine the Probability of one-day rainfall depth 300 mm at Chennai
a) once in 20 successive years
b) two times in 15 successive years
c) at least once in 20 successive years


2.11.1 (page 50): Plotting Position


The purpose of the frequency analysis of an annual series is to obtain a relationship between the
magnitude of the event and its Probability of Exceedance

The probability analysis may be made either by empirical or by analytical method

A simple empirical technique is to arrange the given annual extreme series in descending order of
magnitude and to assign an order number. First entry is m=1, second entry is m=2, and so on

The Probability P of an event equal to or exceeded is given by Weibull Formula

P = m / (N +1)

m = event number 1 to N
N = number of years of record

Equation above is an empirical formula to calculate Probability P.

Table 2.8 below list a few popular empirical formula to calculate P

The Exceedance Probability of the event obtained using empirical equation is called Plotting Position.

After calculating P ( and calculating T=Recurrence Interval where T = 1/P ) for all events in the series,
the variation of the rainfall magnitude is plotted against corresponding T on a semi-log graph or log-log

By suitable extrapolation of this plot, within appropriate limits, the rainfall magnitude of specific
duration for any recurrence interval can be estimated.

This simple empirical procedure can give good results for small extrapolations and the errors increase
with the amount of extrapolation.

For accurate result, various analytical calculation procedures using frequency factors are available.

Two commonly used analytical method are: 1. Log-Pearson Type II method

2. Gumbels extreme value distribution

If P is the Probability of Exceedance of a variable having a magnitude M, a common practice is to

designate the magnitude M as having 100 percent dependability (100P).

Percent Dependability :
75% dependable annual rainfall at a station means annual rainfall is equaled or exceeded 75% of
the time.
It means

P = 0.75
T = 1/ P = 1.333 years

Example 2.10
Record of annual rainfall at Station A covering a period of 22 years is given below. The data is from
year 1960-1981
a) Estimate annual rainfall with return period of 10 years and 50 years.
b) What is the probability of annual rainfall magnitude 100 cm occurring at station A
c) What is 75% dependable annual rainfall at station A



Arrange data in descending order

Rank number assigned to the recorded events
Calculate P using Weibull Equation, P = m /N + 1
Calculate Return Period T = 1 / P
We get data as in table below

5. A graph is plotted between Annual Rainfall Magnitude versus Return Period T. The graph produced
is shown below

6. Get the equation of the best-fit line

Pr = 29.326 ln (T) + 72.024

Pr = Annual Precipitation
T = Return Period

7. The trend line is used to calculate various required value:

i. For T = 10 years
Pr = 29.326 ln (10) + 72.024 = 139.5 cm


For T = 50 years
Pr = 29.326 ln (50) + 72.024 = 186.7 cm

b) Return period of annual rainfall magnitude (P) equal to or exceeding 100 cm

Pr = 29.326 ln (t) + 72.024
100cm = 29.326 ln (T) + 72.024
T = 2.596 years
P = 1 / T = Exceedance Probability = 1 / 2.596 = 0.385

c) Calculate 75% dependable annual rainfall at station A

- What it means is calculate annual rainfall with
1. Probability of exceedance P = 0.75 and
2. Return period T=1/P = 1/ 0.75 = 1.333 years.
Use equation
Pr = 29.326 ln (t) + 72.024
Pr = 29.326 ln (1.333) + 72.024
Pr = 80.4

2.12 (page 53): Maximum Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Relationship

1. In any storm, actual intensity is shown by the slope of the Mass Curve. It varies considerably.
2. If Mass Curve is divided by N segment of time interval t, then total duration of storm D = N t and the
intensity of storm for each segment can be calculated.
3. We can then get a relationship for the variation of the maximum intensity with duration of storm. This is
how we develop intensity-duration-frequency relationship
4. Procedure for developing maximum intensity-duration relationship
a. Select a convenient time step t, where duration of storm D = N t
b. For each segment, the incremental rainfall dj in duration tj is noted by intensity Ij = dj / tj
c. Maximum value of the intensity Imj for the chosen tj is noted.

d. Repeat for all values of j = 1 to N to obtain a data set and I mj as a function of t j

e. Plot the maximum intensity as a function of duration t
f. The equation is
Im = C / (t + a)b

a,b,c are coefficients obtained through regression analysis

2.12.2 (page 54): Maximum Depth-Duration Relationship

1. We can look at relationship between intensity I m in a duration t. We can also look at relationship
between depth of rainfall d m (where dm = Imt) versus the duration. This is called depth-duration

2.12.3 (page 54): Maximum Intensity-Duration-Frequency Relationship

1. If rainfall data from a self-recording rain gage is available for a long period, the frequency of occurrence
of maximum intensity occurring over a specified duration can be determined.
2. To know maximum intensity of rainfall of a specified return period and of duration equal to critical time
of concentration (t c) is very important in determining peak flows. The procedure area:
a. M numbers of significant and heavy storms in particular year Y are selected for analysis. Each of
these storms are analysed for maximum intensity-duration relationship.
b. This gives the set of maximum intensity I m as a function of duration for year Y
c. Repeat procedure for all the N years.
d. We get maximum intensity I m(Dj)k

for all j = 1 to M, K =1 to N

e. Each record of Im(Dj)k for K = 1 to N constitutes a time series which can be analysed to obtain
frequencies of occurrence of various I m(Dj) values. Thus there will be M time series generated.
f. The result are plotted as:
i. Maximum intensity versus Return period (with duration as third parameter)
ii. Maximum intensity versus Duration (with Return Period as third parameter)
iii. Maximum Depth of rainfall versus Duration (with Return period as third parameter)

These relationship can be expressed as below

= KTx / (D + a) n

= maximum intensity (cm/h)

T = Return period (years)
D = Duration (hours)
K, x, a, n = coefficients for area

Table below show example of value of K, x, a, n

3. Extreme point rainfall values of different Duration and for different Return Period has been evaluated.
The Isopluvial/Isohyetal (lines connecting equal depth of rainfall) maps covering the entire country of
India have been prepared.

Below is Isopluvial map of 50 Year return period, 24 hour maximum rainfall

Below is Isopluvial map of 50 year return period, 1 hour maximum rainfall

Isopluvial map for India are available for rainfall :

a. Duration of
15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 min, 1 hr, 3hr, 6hr, 9hr, 15hr 24hr
b. Return period of - 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 years.

4. Example 2.11
The Mass Curve of rainfall in a storm of total duration 270 minutes is given below
a. Draw the hyetograph of the storm at 30 minutes time step.
b. Plot the maximum Intensity-Duration curve for this storm
c. Plot the maximum depth-duration curve for this storm

a. Calculate the incremental depth of rainfall and the intensity (mm/hour)

Plot the Hyetograph. Note that the rainfall intensity is in unit mm/hour.

b. To plot Maximum IDF Curve, various duration t was used.

t = 30, 60, 90, 120, 150,180, 210, 240 and 270 minutes
- For each duration t, a series of running totals of rainfall depth is obtained by starting various
points on the Mass Curve
- In Table below, the maximum depth is marked by bold letters

- The maximum intensity corresponding to a specified duration is shown in Row no 3 of table below

The data obtained from the above analysis is plotted as:

Maximum Depth versus Duration
Maximum Intensity versus Duration

2.13 (page 60): Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP)


Failures of structures such as spillway at large dams can cause heavy damage to life, property and

In design and analysis of such structures, we need to know the MAXIMUM POSSIBLE PRECIPITATION to
avoid under design and the resulting structure failures.

The Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) is the greatest rainfall for a given duration that is
physically possible over a basin

The development of PMP for a given region can use 2 approaches:

a. Meteorological Methods.
b. Statistical study of rainfall data

The equation used is

PMP = P + K

P = Mean of annual maximum rainfall series

= standard deviation of the series
K = a frequency factor (K normally around 15)

Homework # 2
1. Draw the Thiessen Polygon below and calculate Mean Areal Rainfall for the watershed below

3. These are questions from Subramanya book for Chapter 2, starting from page 64
Revision Questions:
Objective Questions:
(Just select answer a, b, c or d. The answer is given at the back of the book so you can
compare your answer. I added this as homework so you read the questions and think
about it. It will helps you understand the chapter better).

Questions Before Starting Class

1. What is Abstraction ?

2. When we urbanize an area, abstraction value will increase or


3. Why is it important to understand evaporation?

4. Where is evaporation significant and of concern to hydrologist?
5. What do we use to measure evaporation?
6. What is vapor pressure?
7. In Malaysia, water level in water body drop by _____________ mm in a day ?
Answer: 4 to 6 mm

8. Why do we need to know the rate of evaporation of water?

We get most of our water supply from reservoir.
2 month without rain and assuming Evaporation rate at 5mm
- Water level in dam will go down due to evaporation by say 5mm/day x 30 days a month = 150 mm
- Water level also goes down due to water sent to WTP
- Water level also goes down due to water released to maintain ecosystem downstream

We need to know evaporation rate because the amount is significant.

Chapter 3a: Abstraction and Evaporation

1. Abstraction is part of rainfall that do not flow as surface runoff. It includes:
a. Evaporation
b. Transpiration
c. Infiltration
d. Depression storages
e. Interception
2. The figure to explain effect of urbanization/ landuse changes on surface runoff.

That is why when we urbanize an area, we need to increase the drainage capacity for that area.
Otherwise we will have localized flood due to insufficient drainage capacity.
3. In engineering hydrology, surface runoff due to a storm event is the most important aspect to study.
Why? Because it affects the design for drainage system and related hydraulic structures such as
embankment, height of bridge, dam, water intake for water supply etc.

4. What is evaporation?
Evaporation is a process in which, at a free surface, a liquid changes to the gaseous state, below the
boiling point, through the transfer of heat energy.

5. The molecules of water are in constant motion. An addition of heat causes average speed to increase.
Evaporation occurs when some water molecules possess sufficient kinetic energy and they cross over the
water surface (The latent heat of vaporization is 585 cal/g).

6. The rate of evaporation is dependent on:

a. The vapor pressure
b. Air and water temperature
c. Wind speed
d. Atmospheric pressure
e. Quality of water
f. Depth of water body

- evaporation is higher with higher temperature

- evaporation higher with wind
evaporation increases at high altitude
- evaporation of sea water is 2-3% less than fresh water
- Deep water body have more heat storage capacity

7. The Vapor Pressure

- Evaporation rate is proportional to the difference between saturation vapor pressure at the water
temperature, ew , and the actual vapor pressure in the air, ea .
(The vapor pressure of a substance is the pressure that the gaseous part of the substance exerts on the
container of the said substance. It is shown as Force Per Unit Area, or Pascal (Pa)
( 1 Pascal = 1 Pa = I Newton/m2 or kg/m.s2 )

-Figures to explain Vapor Pressure

- Daltons law of Evaporation

EL = c (ew - ea )

EL = Evaporation (mm/day)
C = constant
ew = saturation vapor pressure at water temperature
ea = actual vapor pressure in the air

- Evaporation continues until ew = ea

- Condensation occur when ew > ea

8. Evaporation data is important in planning and operating reservoirs and irrigation system.
We can estimate evaporation in 3 ways and they are:
a. Evaporimeters
b. Empirical evaporation equations
c. Analytical method.

9. - Evaporimeters are water-containing pans which are exposed to the atmosphere.

- Water is filled up to certain level.
- After 24 hours, at 8:00 a.m. on the next day, the decrease in water level is recorded. That is evaporation
rate for that day. Water is then added until it reaches original level.
- if there is rain event, the amount of rain will be added to the evaporation amount.
10. There are many types of evaporation pans:
a. Class A evaporation pans

It is a pan with diameter of 1210mm (1.21m), depth of 255mm.

It is made from galvanized iron sheet.
It is placed on wooden platform about 15cm above ground.
Water is maintained at 18cm to 20 cm

b. ISI Standard Pan

It is a pan with diameter of 1220mm (1.22m), depth of 255mm.

It is made from copper
The top is covered fully with hexagonal wire netting made of galvanized iron (protect from birds).

c. Colorado Sunken Pan

It is a pan which is 920mm square, 460mm deep.

It is made of galvanized iron
It is buried into ground within 100mm of the top.
It has advantage in that the radiation and aerodynamic characteristics are similar to those of the

d. US Geological Survey Floating Pan


It is a square pan, 900mm side with 450mm depth

It is supported by drum float in the middle of a raft, set afloat in a lake.
Water level is the same in the pan as in the lake.
It is costly to set up and to maintain. Data measurement is also difficult.

11. Photos of Evaporation Pans gathered online.

12. - Pans are not exact model of a large reservoir.

- They differ in heat storing capacity and heat transfers from the sides and the bottom.
- The rim of the pan also affects wind action.
- This can be corrected by multiplying the value with Cp (pan coefficients).

Lake evaporation = Cp x Pan evaporation.

Table 3.1 below show the pan coefficients for4 types of pan

13. Normally we install evaporation pans in location where other meteorological data are simultaneously
collected. Typical hydrometeorological stations contain:
a. Ordinary raingage or recording raingage
b. Thermometers
c. Wind anemometer
d. Wind direction indicator
e. Termohydrograph
f. Pan evaporimeter

Some photos of weather stations containing the above

What is a weather station?

- A weather station is a device that collects data related to the weather using many different sensors.
- A Weather stations sensors may include:
a) A thermometer to take temperature readings,
b) A barometer to measure the pressure in the atmosphere,
c) Other sensors to measure rain, wind, humidity and more.
-Weather stations range from simple analogue technology to digital technology. Some even connect to your
computer or the internet, so the data collected can be analysed using weather station software.
The 5-in-1 weather sensor includes a thermometer, hygrometer, anemometer, wind vane and self-emptying rain

- It is an all in one easy-to-install sensor. The indoor display console included with 5-in-1 weather stations contains
sensors to measure the barometric pressure, indoor temperature and humidity.
- This allows you to track changes in temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall and barometric
pressure to generate a forecast of future weather conditions personalized for your exact location.

14. There are many empirical equations available to estimate lake evaporation using commonly available
meteorological data

a. Dalton- type Formula

EL = Kf(u)(ew ea)

EL = Lake evaporation (mm/day)

ew = Saturated vapor pressure at water surface temperature in mm HG
ea = Actual vapor pressure of air at specified height in mm HG
K = Coefficients
f(u) = Wind speed correction function

b. Meyers Formula(1915)
EL = Km(ew ea)(1 + U9/16)
EL = Lake evaporation (mm/day)
ew = Saturated vapor pressure at water surface temperature in mm HG
ea = Actual vapor pressure of air at specified height in mm HG
U9 = Monthly mean wind velocity in km/hour
Km = Coefficients.
= It is 0.36 for huge deep waters
= it is 0.5 for small shallow water

c. Rohwers Formula (1931)

EL = 0.771(1.465 - 0.000732Pa) (0.44 + 0.0733U o) (ew ea)
EL = Lake evaporation (mm/day)
ew = Saturated vapor pressure at water surface temperature in mm HG
ea = Actual vapor pressure of air at specified height in mm HG
Pa = Mean Barometric reading in mm of mercury
Uo = Mean wind velocity in km/hour at ground level which can be taken
at velocity 0.6m height above ground

d. In using empirical equations, the saturated vapor pressure at a given temperature (ew) is found from
the table of em versus temperature in 0C (Table 3.3)

e. Wind velocity can be assumed as

Uh = Ch1/7


Uh = Wind velocity at a height h above ground

C = Constant

Use this equation to determine wind velocity at any desired level, if U h is known.

15. Exercise 3.1

a. A reservoir with surface area of 250 ha, had the following average values of climate parameters
during a week:
Water temperature = 20oC
Reliable humidity = 40 %
Wind velocity at 1m above ground = 16 km/hour
Calculate the average daily evapotranspiration from the lake using Meyers formula


From Table 3.3 ----

at 20oC, saturation vapor pressure ew = 17.54mm Hg

ew = 17.54mm Hg
ea = 40% humidity = 0.4 x 17.54mm Hg = 7.02 mm Hg

Uh = Ch1/7
we are given wind speed at 1m above ground = 16km/hour. So h = 1
U1 = C(1)1/7 = 16 km/hr
C = 16
Uh = Ch1/7
U9 = C(9)1/7 = (16) (9)1/7

= 21.9 km/hr

EL = Km(ew ea)(1 + U9/16)

EL = 0.36(17.54 7.02)(1 + 21.9/16) = 8.96 mm/day
b. An ISI Standard Evaporation pan at the site indicated a pan coefficient of 0.80 on the basis of
calibration. If this pan indicated evaporation of 72 mm in the week under question,
i. Estimate the accuracy of Meyers method relative to the pan evaporations measurement
ii. Also estimate the volume of water evaporated from the lake in that week

Look at the solution in the book

14. (3.5, page 79). Analytical method to estimate Evaporation includes:

i. Water-Budget method
ii. Energy-Balance method
iii. Mass-Transfer method
15. Water-Budget method
- is the simplest of the analytical method, but also less reliable
- it considers hydrological continuity equation for the lake to determine evaporation
- The basis of the formula is ---- Input = Output

16. Energy-Balance Method

- it is an application of the Law of the Conservation of Energy
- Energy available for evaporation is determined by considering incoming energy, outgoing energy
and energy stored in water body

- Estimation of evaporation in a lake by energy balance method has been found to give satisfactory

17. Mass-Transfer Method

- This method is based on theories of turbulent mass transfer in boundary layer to calculate the
mass vapor transfer from the surface to the surrounding atmosphere

18. - In a dams reservoir, we will be interested to know loss of water due to seepage. Lets do
One example which is Example 3.2 and calculate this loss due to seepage.

- Example 3.2: Following observation were made for conducting water budget of a reservoir over a
period of one month of 30 days
- Average surface area = 10 km2
- Mean surface inflow rate = 10m3/sec
- Fall in reservoir level = 1.50m
- Rainfall = 10 cm
- Mean surface water = 15 m3/sec
- Pan Evaporation = 20 cm
- Pan Coefficients = 0.70
- Area of reservoir = 10 x 106 = 107

- Estimate the average seepage discharge during that month.

- The equation is : Total Outflow Total Inflow = Reduction in Storage

Look at the solution in the book

19. In conclusion, of the 3 methods to determine evaporation from a reservoir:

i. Analytical method involve parameters that is hard to assess
ii. Empirical method very inaccurate
iii. Evaporimeters/Evaporation Pan accepted method worldwide
20. - Evaporation from a water surface is a continuous process.
- In India, the loss of water is about 160cm in a year. ( is it higher or lower compared to Malaysia?
Assume average evaporation rate for Malaysia is 5 mm per day, what is it in a year ? )
- This mean large amount of water stored in reservoir is lost due to evaporation
- Volume of water lost due to evaporation = 160cm x Surface Area of Reservoir

- For India, the calculated annual water lost due to evaporation is given below.

21. Method to reduce Evaporation Losses

- Various methods are available for reduction of evaporation losses. What are they ????

They includes:
a. Reduction of surface area when selecting location of Dams reservoir, choose location with
deep reservoir, not shallow, wide one.
b. Mechanical Cover permanent temporary roofs, floating roof like raft, lightweight floating
particle etc. This is only for small storage.
c. Chemical Films Applying a thin chemical film on water surface.
- Certain chemicals like cetyl alcohol form molecular layers on water surface.
- Experiments done show evaporation reduction of 60% if monolayers are

Questions Before Starting Class

What is Transpiration ?
What is Infiltration ?
What is Interception?
What are factors affecting transpiration and
Why is data about transpiration and infiltration
How do we measure transpiration and infiltration?
What is 1. PET,
2. AET
3. Field Capacity
4. Permanent Wilting Point
5. What is available water?

Chapter 3b: Transpiration and Infiltration

. Transpiration:

- is the process by which water leaves the body of living plant through leaves and reach the
atmosphere as water vapor.
2. Factors affecting transpiration are
a. Atmospheric vapor pressure
b. Temperature
c. Wind
d. Light intensity
e. Characteristic of the plant (root, leaves system)
3. Transpiration occur only during daylight hours, while evaporation occurs 24 hours a day
4. In hydrology and irrigation practices, it is advantageous to combine the two as Evapotranspiration.
5. PET Potential Evapotranspiration
- Possible value of evapotranspiration if sufficient moisture is always available to completely meet
the need of vegetation in an area.
AET Actual Transpiration
- The actual evapotranspiration. It is the real amount of evapotranspiration for an area.
Field Capacity is the maximum quantity of water that the soil can retain against the force of gravity
Permanent Wilting Point is the moisture content of a soil where moisture in soil is no longer available
for plants. At this point, the moisture in soil are so held by soil grains that the roots of the
plant are not able to get it in sufficient quantities.
Available Water is the difference between Field Capacity and Permanent Wilting Point.
If the water supply to the plant is adequate, soil moisture is at the field capacity and AET = PET.

6. For a catchment, a Hydrologic budget can be written as :

P Rs Go Eact = S

P = Precipitation
Rs = Surface Runoff
Go = Subsurface Flow
Eact = Actual Evapotranspiration EAT
S = Change in Moisture Content

We can use this equation to calculate Eact by estimating other values.

Figure 3.5 below show the variation of AET.

What can we conclude from the figure 3.5 ? One conclusion is a AET/PET of 50%, , the percent
available moisture for sandy soil is 50%, but for clayey soil, it is only 20%. That means soil particle
of clayey soil hold water particle better compared to soil particle of sandy soil.
7. Measurement of Evapotranspiration can be done in 2 ways:
a. By use of Lysimeters
b. By use of field plots

A lysimeter is a special watertight tank containing a block of soil and set in a field of growing
plants. The plant grown is the same as in the surrounding.
Evapotranspiration is estimated in term of amount of water required to maintain constant
moisture condition within the tank.
Lysimeter should be designed to accurately reproduce the soil condition, moisture content, type
and size of the vegetation of the surrounding area. It should also be buried that the soil is at the
same level inside and outside of the container. Below are photos of Lysimeters.

8. The lack of reliable data and difficulties in obtaining reliable evapotranspiration data result in a number
of method to predict PET using climatological data. One of the equation is shown below.
Penmans Equation

Using Penmans equation and the available climatological data, PET estimate for India has been made.
The mean annual PET (in cm) is shown in the form of Isopleths Lines of Equal Evapotranspiration.

Figure 3.6(a) Annual PET (cm) over India

9. Intercepted Water may be one of the following:

Interception water from rainfall that is caught by the vegetation and subsequently

b. Thoroughfall water that drip off plants leaf and join surface runoff.
c. Stemflow water that runs along leaves and branches
It is estimated that of the total rainfall in an area, interception loss is about 10% to


10. For a given storm, interception loss is estimated at

Ii = Si + KiET


Ii = Interception loss in mm
Si = Interception storage (range 0.25 to 1.25mm)
Ki = Ratio of vegetal surface area to projected area
E = Evaporation rate in mm/hr
t = duration of rainfall in hour

Infiltration is a flow of water into the ground.

The moisture content within the soil profile during infiltration is shown below

Zone 1 Saturation zone

Zone2 Transition Zone
Zone 3 Transmission zone. Here the downward motion of moisture takes place.
Here moisture content is uniform.
Zone 4 Wetting Zone Here moisture content decreases with depth
- Wetting front is where big decrease in moisture content occur versus depth. It
can be few cm to several meters. (clay = few cm, sand=several meters)
Look at the structure of soil below. Top layer rich with organic matter. Imagine how infiltration

12. Figure 3.10 below show how during:

- low intensity rainfall, all rainfall infiltrated into ground.
- high intensity rainfall, part of rainfall become surface runoff

13. Field capacity the volume of water the ground can hold
Infiltration capacity maximum rate at which ground can absorb water
- Designated as fp, unit cm/hr
i= rainfall intensity The actual rate of infiltration f will be
f = i when i < fp
f = fp when I f
Infiltration capacity of a soil is high at the beginning of a storm and has exponential decay as time

14. Factors influencing infiltration capacity:

a. The type of soil (sand, silt, clay)
b. Its texture (composition)
c. Its structure (molecular arrangement)
d. Its permeability
Landuse has significant influence on fp:
a. A forest has higher fp because it is rich in organic matter.
b. A city has lower fp because the soil is subject to compaction
15. We can determine infiltration rate using:
a. Infiltrometer
b. Rainfall Simulator
3. Hydrograph analysis
16. Infiltrometer can be:

a. Simple Infiltrometer
b. Double Ring Infiltrometer

Simple Infiltrometer
- A metal cylinder 30 cm diameter and 60 cm long, open on both end
- The cylinder is driven 50 cm into the ground
- Water is poured to a depth of 5 cm and it is marked using marker
- As water infiltrated, water is added using burette to maintain the same height.

- A plot was made of the volume of water added versus time

- Continue experiment until uniform infiltration rate is obtained. This may take 2-3 hours.
- Major source of error is that water will not infiltrated just downward. It will also move sideways
at the outer rim of the device.

Double Ring Infiltrometer

- Two sets of rings with diameters of 30 cm and 60 cm and minimum length of
25 cm.
- Water is applied into both ring to maintain a constant depth of 5 mm.
- Water from outer ring will infiltrate sideways while water in inner ring will
infiltrate vertically.
- Measurement done only for the inner ring.

Flooding Infiltrometer measures infiltration rate at one spot only. A large number of experiments
are necessary to obtain infiltration characteristics for an entire watershed.

Possible errors:
a. The raindrop impact effect is not simulated.
b. Driving the rings into the ground disturbs the soil structure.
c. The border effect is significant. Larger ring normally give less rates than smaller ring.

Photo of Infiltrometer

Double Ring Infiltrometer 2 tubes supplying water to the inner ring and the outer ring. The rate of

water going down in the inner tube indicate the rate of infiltration

Below, the two towers supplying water into inner ring and outer ring

The float in the inner ring will go down and the

rate of infiltration is indicated by the movement
of small needle in the middle.
Water in outer ring will move vertically and
horizontally. This allows water in the inner ring to
only infiltrate vertically.

Single Ring Infiltrometer not as accurate as double-ring infiltrometer

The Turf-Tec Infiltrometer is simple to operate and easy to use! Determine infiltration rate in as little
as15minutes.Thisfield instrument determines the downward flow of water through the turf and soil.
Elapsed time indicator makes it possible to correlate irrigation time to the infiltration rate of your turf.
Record keeping of Infiltrometer readings can aid in keeping track of significant changes in water
percolation. Has double ring accuracy.

Lets look at video about measuring infiltration

Photos of Rainfall Simulator
Photo below show how open cover will result in erosion of top soil

1.Typical Test Bed and Rainfall Simulator Setup for Erosion Control Testing

Look at the texture of soil. Top soil is rich with organic matter.

Chapter 4: Streamflow Measurement

Questions before we start class

Why is streamflow data important?

Have you seen a large ruler at the bank of a river? What is it for?

How do we determine flow in a large river?

How do we determine flow in small stream/river/ drain ?

How do we determine a profile of a river using basic items (low cost method)?

What is a Rating Curve (Lengkung Penarafan)?

How do we produce a Rating Curve?

Why do Rating Curve need to be reproduced after several years

How do we determine velocity at a point in a river? What device do we use?

Chapter 4: Streamflow Measurement

1. - Streamflow is the most important basic data for hydrologic studies.
- It is easy to measure accurately (precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration are all
difficult to measure)
- It is measured in units of discharge occurring at a specified time (m3/sec).
- Hydrometry = the science and practice of water measurement
2. Streamflow measuring technique can be:
i. Direct determination of stream discharge:
a. Area-Velocity methods.
b. Dilution technique
c. Electromagnetic method
d. Ultrasonic method
ii. Indirect determination of streamflow
a. Hydraulic structures (weir, flumes, gated structures)
b. Slope-Area method
3. Direct measurement of discharge is time consuming and costly, so a two-steps procedure is followed
i. A rating curve is produced
- a series of careful measurement to determine discharge for various elevation of
water level was done for that specific location.
- the data was then plotted as water level (also called stage) versus discharge. It
is called Rating Curve or Stage-Discharge Curve.

ii. The stage (water level) is observed continuously and recorded. This water level is then
converted to discharge (Q) using Rating Curve. After several years, if significant erosion and
sedimentation is noticed at that section, changes in river cross section is expected. For cases like
this, new rating curve need to be produced.

4. The stage of a river is its water surface elevation measured above a datum (Datum = MSL,
We can measure stage using:
i. Manual Gage
ii. Automatic gage

a. Staff gage
b. Wire gage
a. Float gage recorder
b. Bubble gage

5. Manual Gage:
Staff Gage
- is the simplest measurement of the stage. It is by noting the elevation of water surface in contact
with a fixed staff. If needed, sectional gage can be used (where slope is mild/not steep)

Wire gage
- is a gage used to measure water surface elevation, being lowered from a bridge or
similar structure.

6. Automatic Gage:
- Manual gage need to be read at frequent interval and it is very inconvenient. Automatic
stage recorder can be used to solve this problem.
a. Float-Gage recorder
- it is the most common type of automatic stage recorder
- a float in the stilling well is balanced by means of a counterweight over a pulley of a recorder.
- the movement of float causes angular displacement of the pulley and it is recorded by the pen.
- the design allow for flushing of sediment that enter stilling well.

b. Bubble Gage
- compressed air is made to bleed out at a very small rate through the outlet at the bottom of the river.
- a pressure gage measure the gas pressure. It will be equal to water column above the outlet ( P = gh)

-The science behind Bubble Gage is:

- Pressure of water is determined by height of water above a point (Pressure = gh)
- The higher the water level, the higher the pressure needed to produce bubble in the water.

7. The stage data is presented in the form of a plot of Stage against Time. It is called Stage Hydrograph.

Reliable long term stage data can be analyzed statistically to estimate the design peak river stages
for use in the design of hydraulic structures like bridge and weirs.

8. Measurement of Velocity using Current Meter

- The most commonly used instrument in Hydrometry to measure velocity at a point in the flow
cross-section is Current Meter.
- Current Meter consists of a rotating element that rotate due to flow of water
- There are two types of current meter:
a. Vertical-axis meter
b. Horizontal-axis meter

Vertical axis meter

- it consists of a series of conical cups mounted around a vertical axis, which when rotated, will
send signals proportional to the revolution of the cup assembly
- the normal range of velocities of flow is from 0.5 to 4.0 m/s
- the accuracy of the device is about 1.5% plus minus. ( 1.5%)

Horizontal axis meter

- consists of a propeller mounted at the end of horizontal shaft.
- the equation for the current meter is:
V = a Ns + b

V = stream velocity
Ns = revolutions per second
a, b = constants of the meter


The relationship between the stream velocity and revolutions per second of the current meter is
called The Calibration Equation
The calibration is done in a towing tank, which is a long channel with still water.
The current meter is mounted on a carriageway and towed at a predetermined constant speed (v),
and the corresponding average value of revolution per second (Ns) is determined.
This experiment is repeated over a complete range of velocities and a best-fit linear regression in the
form of above equation is obtained.

How to Use Current Meter


In small streams of shallow depth, current meter is held at the required depth below the
surface, in a vertical way by an observer who stands in the water. It is called wading
In rivers flowing in narrow gorges, a cableway is stretched from bank to bank. A carriage
moving over the cableway is used as the observation platform
Bridges are frequently used as gaging station due to accessibility. Hydraulically, it is not
the best location.

How do we determine the cross-section / profile of a river manually ???

How do we determine flow in a small stream ? What device can we use ? (remember fluid mechanic

9. Area-Velocity Method
- In this method, we determine discharge by:
a. Measuring the cross-sectional area of the river at the gaging site
b. Measure the velocity at 0.6 depth using current meter (can be average value of 0.2d and 0.8d)
c. Calculating Q = A.V
- The gaging site must be selected with care to assure the stage discharge curve will be constant
over a long period. The criteria in determining the gaging sites are:
a. The stream should have well-defined cross section that does not change in various seasons.
b. The site should be easily accessible all through the year.
c. The site should be in a straight, stable reach
d. The gaging site should be free from backwater effect.

- The processes or the steps for this method are:

a. At selected site, the section line is marked off by permanent survey markings.
b. The depth at various location are measured using sounding rods or sounding weights.
c. If the stream depth is large, or quick and accurate depth measurements are needed, an
electroacoustic instrument called echo depth recorder is used. A high frequency sound wave is
sent down by a transducer and the echo reflected by the bed is also picked up by the same
d. The current meter is lowered to 0.6D and the velocity of flow is recorded.

- For purpose of discharge estimation, the cross-section is considered to be divided by verticals

into many subsections.

Figure 4.4: Stream Section for Area-Velocity Method

- The greater the number of subsections, the more accurate is discharge estimation. However smaller
number of subsections are preferred because it is cheaper and easier to do.
- The guidelines to select number of subsections are:
a. The segment width should not be greater than 1/15 to 1/20 of the width of the river
(means minimum number of section is 15).
b. The discharge in each segment should be less than 10% of the total discharge.
c. The difference in velocities in adjacent segments should not be more than 20%.

10. Calculation of Discharge

- Refer figure above. There are N segments and (N-1) vertical lines.

11. Example 4.1


The data pertaining to a stream gaging operation at a gaging site are given below.
The rating equation of the current meter is V = 0.51Ns + 0.03 m/s, where Ns = revolutions per
Calculate the discharge of the stream.

Calculate the width of the first section and the last section. The equation is:

Putting in the values, we get average width for the first ad last section is:

The rest of the calculation is shown in the table below

If we are to look at the sectional area, it will look like this

Lets do one exercise

Exercise 4.1 (page 158)
The following data were collected during a stream gaging operation in a river. Compute the

Chapter 5: Runoff

Questions before class

1. What is baseflow ?
2. What simple structure we can put across a small stream to determine its flow/ discharge ?
3. What is Perennial stream, Intermittent stream and Ephemereal stream?
4. What is catchment characteristics ?
5. What is stream order
6. What is meant by the word Yield of a catchment ?
7. What is Excess Rainfall or Excess Precipitation
8. What is AMC (Antecedent Soil Moisture Condition)
9. What is weighted CN values?

Chapter 5: Runoff
1. Runoff is flowing-off from precipitation in a catchment area, through a surface channel.
- is output from a catchment in a given unit time.
2. When it rain, abstraction (evapotranspiration, initial losses, infiltrations and detention storage)
must first be satisfied. Only after that we will have surface runoff.
3. Water that infiltrated into ground and return to the surface at some location away is called
thoroughflow, interflow, subsurface flow or quick return flow.
4. Water that infiltrated deep into the ground and reach groundwater storage is called groundwater flow.
Time taken from entry to reaching surface again can be many months to many years.

5. Direct Runoff

- also called storm runoff or direct storm runoff.

- It is part of runoff which enters the stream immediately after the rainfall.


- The delayed flow that reaches the stream as groundwater flow

Natural Flow

- Natural flow or virgin flow is streamflow in its natural condition (without

human intervention)
- Runoff represents the response of a catchment to precipitation.
- This response will be influenced by the integrated effects conditions of
catchments (slope, landuse, topography, etc), climate and rainfall characteristics.
- Natural flow in time t at a terminal point of a catchment can be calculated using
Water Balance Equation below
RN = (R0 Vr) + Vd + E + Ex + S
Where: RN = Natural flow in time t
R0 = Observed flow volume in time t at the terminal site
Vr = Volume of flow from irrigation, domestic water supply and industrial use.
Vd = Volume directed out of stream for irrigation
E = Net evaporation losses from reservoirs on stream

Ex = Net export of water from basin

S = Change in storage volumes of water storage bodies on the stream

6. Exercise on Example 5.1 (pg 166)

-The following table gives values of measured discharges at a stream gauging site in a year.
- Upstream of the gauging site, a weir built across the stream diverts 3.0Mm3 and 0.5Mm3 of water per
month for irrigation and for use in an industry respectively.
- The return flow from irrigation is estimated at 0.8Mm3 and from industry at 0.3Mm3 reaching the
-a. Estimate the natural flow
-b. If the catchment area is 180km2 and the average annual rainfall is 185cm, determine the runoffrainfall ratio.

The natural flow volume in a month of RN is given by the equation below:
RN = (R0 Vr) + Vd + E + Ex + S
The value of E, Ex and S are insignificant and can be assumed to be 0
RN = (R0 Vr) + Vd


= Volume of return flow from irrigation, domestic water supply and industrial use
= 0.8 + 0.3 = 1.10 Mm3 (Million m3 = x106m3)

Vd = Volume diverted out of stream for irigation, domestic water supply and industrial use
= 3.0 + 0.5 = 3.5 Mm3
Calculation for month 1

RN = (R0 Vr) + Vd
= (2.0-1.10) + 3.5
= 4.4 Mm3

Calculation for months 1 to 12 are shown in the table below

Annual natural flow volume = Annual Runoff Volume = Total RN = 116.8 Mm3 = 1.168 x 108 m3
Area of catchment = 180 km2 = 180 x 106 m2 = 1.8 x 108 m2
Annual Runoff Depth = 1.168 x 108 m2 / 1.8 x 108 m2 = 0.649 m = 64.9 cm
Given Annual Rainfall = 185 cm
Runoff Rainfall Ratio = Runoff / Rainfall = 64.9cm / 185 cm = 0.35
What does Runoff Rainfall Ratio of 0.35 (35%) means ?
- It means 35% of all rainfall become runoff
- It means ___ % of all rainfall become abstraction (see drawings)
7. Hydrograph
- is a plot of discharge in a stream plotted against time
- Below is an example of Long Term Hydrograph. It can tell when big flood might have

there are also annual hydrograph, monthly hydrograph, seasonal hydrograph and

flood hydrograph

Annual or seasonal hydrograph are used for:

i. Calculating surface water potential of a stream
ii. Reservoir studies
iii. Drought studies

Below is example of Annual Hydrograph in a Perennial Stream (contained baseflow)

Flood Hydrograph focus only on streamflow during that flood event. It is essential in
analysing stream characteristics associated with floods.
Below is hydrograph in intermittent stream and ephemereal stream

8. There are 3 classes of streams.

i. Perennial Stream
- Stream that always carries some flow, even during dry period.
- considerable groundwater flow into it
ii. Intermittent Stream - There is contribution from groundwater flow, except in dry season.
- During dry season, the river becomes dry.
iii. Ephemeral Stream

- Stream with zero baseflow contribution. It is also called Dry River.

- The hydrograph will show series of short-duration spikes marking flash flows in
response to storms.

9. The flow characteristics of a stream depends upon:

i. The rainfall characteristics magnitude, intensity, distribution (time, space), variability.
ii. Catchment characteristics soil type, landuse, slope, geology, shape.
iii. Climate factors vapour pressure, temperature, wind, solar radiation etc.
10. Catchment Characteristics
- A catchment is also known as drainage basin, watershed , or a river basin.
- Physical characteristics of the watershed includes area, shape, slope, drainage channel
pattern etc.
- Physical characteristics affect the volume of surface runoff and the shape of runoff
hydrograph for a catchment due to a storm
- Geomorphology is a study of catchment characteristics of a watershed.

11. Stream Order

- Is a classification reflecting pattern of branches that unite to form the trunk stream(main
- The smallest stream at the start is designated order 1, which later produced order 2 etc.
- Below is a figure to explain about stream order

12. Runoff Volume (Yield)

- Yield is the total quantity of surface water that can be expected in a given period from a
stream at the outlet of its catchment

13. Rainfal Runoff Correlation

- The relationship between rainfall in a period and the corresponding runoff is quite complex.
- It is influenced by a host of factors relating to the catchment and the climate
- One of the most common methods is to correlate seasonal or annual measured runoff
values with corresponding rainfall values (P)
- A commonly adopted method is to fit a linear regression line between R and P and to accept
the result of the correlation coefficients is nearer unity.
- The equation of the straight-line regression between runoff R and Rainfall P is

R = aP + b

a and b are coefficients. Details are in book on page 174 (5.5.2:Rainfall Runoff Correlation)

14. Empirical Equations and Tables (section 5.5.3, pg 177)

- The importance of estimating the water availability from the available hydrologic data for
purposes of planning water resources project was recognised by engineer very early on.
- Many engineers have developed empirical runoff estimation formulas, which is only valid for
the region it was derived.
- These formulas are essentially rainfall-runoff relations with additional third or fourth
parameters to account for climatic or catchment characteristics
- Among important formulas developed are:
i. Binnies Percentage
ii. Barlows Table
iii. Stranges Table
iv. Inglis and De Souza Formula
v. Khoslas Formula
Details about these formulas are in the book page 178 184.
15. SCS CN Method for estimating Runoff Volume (section 5.6, pg 185)
- SCS-CN method was developed by Soil Conservation Services (SCS) of USA in 1969. It
computes abstraction from Storm-Rainfall
- This method is simple, predictable and stable conceptual method for estimation of direct
runoff depth based on storm rainfall depth.
- It relies on one parameter called Curve Number, CN.

16. SCS CN method is based on the Water Balance Equation of the rainfall in a known interval of time t.
P = Ia + F + Q


where P = Total Precipitation

Ia = Initial Abstractions
F = Cumulative Infiltration (excluding Ia )
Q = Direct Surface Runoff

= Excess Precipitation / Excess Rainfall

= Part of rainfall that become surface runoff
= Initial Abstraction (intercepted by grass, wetting the groud, fill the hollow on ground.
= Continuing abstraction is continuing infiltration into ground

Excess Rainfall Part of rainfall that become surface runoff

Abstraction part of rainfall that do not become runoff (show it in a drawing)

2 other concepts are also used. They are:


The ratio of actual amount of Direct Runoff (Q) to Maximum Potential Runoff (P-Ia) is
equal to the ratio of the actual infiltration (Fs) to the potential maximum retention S
This proportionality can be shown as

where where P = Total Precipitation

Ia = Initial Abstractions
F = Cumulative Infiltration (excluding Ia )
Q = Direct Surface Runoff
S = Potential Maximum Retention

ii. The amount of initial abstractions (Ia) is some fraction of the Potential Maximum
Retention (S)
Ia = S
After a detailed study involving hundreds of data, SCS adopted value of 0.2 .
So the equation is:

Ia = 0.2 S
iii. The 3 available equations are now
a. P = Ia + F + Q


c. Ia = 0.2 S

eqn 1


eqn 2


eqn 3

iv. Combining equation 2 and 3 we get:




for P > 0.2 S

for P 0.2S

Use t = 1 day,

so P = Daily Rainfall
Q = Daily Runoff

17. Curve Number CN

- The parameter S represents potential maximum retention (which is how much water the
soil can hold)

S is dependent on a. Soil type

b. Landuse and vegetation of the area
c. Antecedent soil moisture condition

From studies done on thousands and thousands of data, the equation that relates S with CN
values was produced:


CN values can be between 0 and 100

CN = 100 means zero potential retention. All rainfall become surface runoff
CN = 0 means all rainfall is retained and no surface runoff. An example is a lake.
Figure below show the relationship between P and Pe (Excess Precipitation=Surface runoff)

18. Soil Type:

-Soil are classified into four classes, A, B, C and D based on infiltration and other characteristics (effective
depth of soil, average clay content, permeability etc).
- The soil type will show the runoff potential (high infiltration rate like sand means low runoff potential)
Explanation about each group are:
Group A Deep sand, depp loess, aggregated soils (high infiltration-Low runoff potential)
Group B Shallow loess, sandy loam, red loamy soil (Moderately low runoff potential)
Group C Clayey loam, shallow sandy loam, high in clay (Moderately high runoff potential)
Group D Heavy plastic clays (low infiltration rate- High runoff potential)
Antecedent moisture condition (AMC) refers to moisture content present in the soil at the beginning of
the rainfall-runoff event under considerations.
3 levels of AMC are recognised by SCS and they are:
= Soil are dry, but not to wilting point
= Average conditions
= Sufficient rainfall has occurred within the immediate past 5 days. Saturated
soil condition prevail.
Table below show total rain amount in the past 5 days for the 3 AMC

19. Landuse
The CN values for various landuse and soil type A,B, C, and D are shown below. These CN Values are for
AMC-II and is called CNII

20. Conversion of CN
The conversion of CNII to two other AMC conditions can be made using the following equations.





21. Solving the SCS-CN problems will require the following steps
i. Determine the weighted CN values (use Table 5.6a)
ii. Calculate S using equation:

iii. Calculate Q using equation:

22. Explanation from book about Procedure for Estimating Runoff Volume from a catchment.

23. Example 5.5 (page 191)

In a 350 ha watershed, the CN value was assessed as 70 for AMC-III.
a) Estimate the value of direct runoff volume for the following 4 days of rainfall. The AMC on July 1st
was of category III. Use standard SCS-CN equations.
b) What would be the runoff volume if the CNIII values were 80?
c) What would be the runoff volume if the CNIII values were 90?

a) Given CNIII = 70


= 362.8 254
= 108.8



for P > 0.2S > 0.2(108.8) > 21.76


for P > 21.76

Calculate Q for all the given 4 P for the 4 days

For July 1 P=50


Do for all the 4 days


= 5.81 mm

Total Q = 6.39 mm
Total Runoff Value over catchment


= 350 ha x 6.39 mm
= 350 x

10,000 2

x 6.39 mm x


= 22, 365 m3
b) Given CNIII = 80
Calculate Q for all the 4 dates
July 1, Q =
July 2, Q =
July 3, Q =
July 4, Q =

Total Runoff volume over the catchment Vr = 350 ha x 10000m2/ha x 18.66mm x 1m/1000mm
= 65,310 m3

24. Example 5.6

Equation 5.26 on page 190

Solve Example 5.6 again if the area is 300 ha and soil is group D

25. Example 5.7

Solve Example 5.7 again if the watershed is 4000 ha and soil classification is 60% group A and 40%
group D

Homework #5 :
Revision Questions:
Objective Questions:

5.1, 5.5, 5.7

5.1, 5.4, 5.7, 5.8, 5.10 and 5.13
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4

Chapter 6: Hydrographs
1. A hydrograph is a graph of Discharge ( m3/sec or cumecs) versus Time (sec, hour, day)
2. Consider a fairly uniform rainfall of Duration D over a catchment. After the initial losses and infiltration
losses are met, the rainfall excess reaches the stream through overland flows and channel flows.
3. There is a time lag between the occurrence of rainfall in the basin and the time when the water passes
the gauging stations at the basin outlet. Why ?
4. The runoff measurement at the stream gauging station will give a typical hydrograph, as shown below


The factors that affect the shape of the hydrograph can be i. Physiographic factors, ii. Climatic factors,

a. Shape of the basin influences the time taken for the water from the most remote part of the
catchment to arrive at the outlet. Thus the shape of the hydrograph and the location of Qpeak
are affected by the basin shape.

- imagine a catchment. As it rain, the water start to flow downstream. See how the hydrograph
start to rise up as more rainwater reaches gaging station
- Fan shaped basin give high peak and narrow hydrograph.
- Elongated basin give broad and low peak hydrograph
- catchment A, the hydrograph is skewed to the left, Qpeak occurred quickly.
- Catchment B, the hydrograph is skewed to the right, Qpeak occurred much later.
b. Small basin behave differently compared to large basins. In small basin, the overland flow phase
is predominant compared to the channel flow. Ths landuse and intensity of rainfall have
important role on the peak flood.
c. The Slope of the main stream control the velocity of flow in the channel. Large stream slopes
result in quicker depletion of storage. The basin slope is important in small catchments where
overland flow is relatively more important
d. Drainage density is the ratio of total channel length to the total drainage area. Large drainge
density allow for quick disposal of runoff, thus higher peak flow and narrow base.

e. Vegetations and forest increase infiltration and storage capacities of the soils by intercepting
overland flow. Vegetal cover reduces peak flow. Effects of vegetal cover is prominent in small
catchment ( <150km2) and in small flows.

6. Urbanisation will result in significant changes to the characteristics of the watershed in 2 aspects:
a. Urbanisation increase amount of impervious surfaces such as roofing, asphalt, road surfaces,
parkig lot etc. Infiltration will be reduced and surface runoff will increase. Interception and initial
losses will also be reduced.
b. During urbanisation, natural drainage will be replaced by man-made artificial channel. Increased
efficiency of flow and increased capacity resulted in higher peak discharge Qpeak.

From Fig 6.3(b), note that area under curve is the volume of flow.
What is the increase in peak discharge?
What is the increase in volume of surface runoff (a,b and c)

d. What are the biggest differences between hydrograph of before urbanisation and hydrograph of
after urbanisation ?
- 1. Qpeak after urbanisation is higher compared to Qprak before urbanisation.
- 2. Volume of surface runoff after urbanisation is higher compared to before urbanisation.
- 3. Time to peak after urbanisation is shorter compared to before urbanisation.
- 3. Time base of the hydrograph after urbanisation is shorter than before urbanisation

7. Among climatic factors, the 3 important factors affecting the shape of flood hydrograph are:
- 1. The rainfall intensity
- 2. The storm duration
- 3. The storm movement
For a given storm duration, the peak flow and volume of surface runoff are proportional to the
intensity of rainfall.

8. Components of a Hydrograph includes :

i. The rising limb,
ii. The crest
iii. The recession limb
- Rising limb the initial losses and high infiltration losses during the early period of a storm cause
discharge to rise rather slowly in the initial periods. As the storm continues, more and more flow from the
distant part reach the basin outlet.
- Crest segment is the most important part because it contains peak flow. Peak flow occurs when runoff
from various parts of the catchmentssimultaneously contribute amounts to achieve maximum flow at the
outlet. Generally for large catchments, the peak flow occurs after the cessation (end/termination) of
- Recession limb The starting point of the recession limb, (i.e. the point of reflection), represents the
condition of maximum storage. Depletion of storage takes place after cessation of rainfall, thus the shape
of this part of the hydrograph is independent of storm characteristics, and depend entirely on the basin
- The storage of water in the basin exists as:
i. Surface storage surface detention and channel storage
ii. Interflow storage
iii. Groundwater storage / baseflow
- Barnes (1940) showed that the recessions of a storage can be expressed as
Qt = Q0Krt

Qt = Discharge at time t
Q0 = Discharge at time 0
Kr = recession constant of value less than unity
Equation above plots as a straight line when plotted on a semi-log paper with discharge on the log-scale.
The shape of this line represents the recession constant.

Lets look at Example 6.1

The data are plotted on a semi-log paper with the discharge on the log scale. The data points from t=4.5
days to 7.0 days are seen to lie on the straight line (line AB in Figure 6.4). This indicate that the surface
flow terminates at t = 4.5 days. The best fittings exponential curve for this straight line (obtained using
MS excel) is
Qt = 11.033e-0.2927t

with r2 = 0.9805

9. Method of Baseflow Separation

- In Hydrograph analysis, we want to establish relationship between surface runoff hydrograph (quick
response of the catchment due to rain) and effective rainfall. Thus we deduct the baseflow contribution
(slow response) from the hyfrograph.
- There are 3 method of baseflow separation:

i. Straight Line Method Method 1

- We joined a straight line the beginning of surface runoff to a point on the recession limb representing
the end of the direct runoff. The lower part are baseflow and is deducted. The result is the surface flow
(quick response) which is also called DRH Direct Runoff Hydrograph.
ii. Method 2 The baseflow curve before surface runoff occur, is extended until it intersects the ordinate
drawn at the peak (point C). This point is then joined to point B by a straight line. The part below the AC
and CB demarcate the baseflow. This method is the most widely used baseflow separation procedure.
iii. Method 3 In this method, the baseflow recession curve at the depletion of surface runoff is extended
backwards until it intersects the ordinate at the point of inflection (line EF). Then point A and point F are
joined by an arbitrary smooth curve

10. Effective Rainfall (ER) is part of rainfall that become runoff.

Abstraction (initial losses and infiltration)- is part of rainfall that do not become runoff

Figure below show the Hyetograph of a storm. Initial losses and infiltration losses are then substracted
and we get the Effective Rainfall Hyetograph (ERH).

This ERH (Excess Rainfall Hyetograph) will produce DRH (Direct Runoff Hydrograph)

11. Example 6.2 Estimate the rainfall excess and index

The hydrograph is plotted to scale (shown below) and we can see the baseflow part. Use Simple straight
line method for baseflow separation.

We can see DRH starts at t = 0, has the peak at t = 12h and ends at t = 48h. Thus N=48-12 = 36 hour.
Baseflow is found to be 5 m3/sec.

Scan the solution

See calculation of DRH = Area under curve

Runof Depth = Runoff Volume / Catchment area = 0.0552m
Total Rainfall = 3.8 + 2.8 = 6.6 cm
Duration = 8 hour
index = (Total Rainfall Runoff Depth) / Duration = (6.6-5.52) / 8 = 0.135 cm/h.
= is storage capacity of the catchment

12. Example 6.3 Determine the ERH (Effective Rainfall Hyetograph)

- First calculate the depth of rainfall in time interval t = 2 hours. Then calculate t, ER ad the
intensity of ER (column 7) below.

- Then Plot the column 7 which shows the ERH.

- The problem of predicting the flood hydrograph from a known storm in a catchment has received
considerable attention
- Many methods are now available to predict this flood hydrograph, but the most popular and widely
used method is the UUNit Hydrograph Method (suggested by Sherman in 1932)

- What is a Unit Hydrograph?

Unit Hydrograph is Direct Runoff Hydrograph (DRH) resulting from 1 unit depth (normally 1cm) of
rainfall, occuring uniformly over the basin in 1 unit time(specific duration/ D hours).
- A 6-h Unit Hydrograph id DRH resulting from 1 unit depth of rainfall occuring in 6 hours.

-What does Unit Hydrograph represents ?

The Unit Hydrograph represents the lumped response of the catchment to 1 unit excess rainfall of D
duration to produce a direct runoff hydrograph.
- Hence the value of water contained in the Unit Hydrograph (area under curve) must be equal to the
excess rainfall.
- Assumptions: The distribution of the storm is considered to be uniform all over the catchment. Figure
below is a typical 6-h Unit Hydrograph. Note here the duration of excess rainfall is 6h.

-Important Basic Assumptions of Unit Hydrograph

a. Time Invariance
The direct response to a given effective rainfall in a catchment is time invariant. This implies that
the DRH for a given ER in a catchment is always the same irrespective of when it occurs
b. Linear Response
- The direct runoff response to a rainfall excess is assumed to be linear.
- This is the most important assumption of Unit Hydrograph
- Linear response means: if input X1(t) causes output Y1(t),
and input X2(t) causes output Y2(t)
Then input X1(t) + X2(t) causes output = Y1(t) + Y2(t)
- Assuming linear response in a unit hydrograph means the Method of Superposition to be used to
derive DRHs.

- Let see Example 6.4 Calculate the ordinate of DRH

Given the rainfall excess is 3.5cm. so the ordinates of DRH are obtained by multiplying the
ordinates of Unit Hydrograph with 3.5. The result is shown below. The plot is also below.

14. Lets look now at Example 6.5: Calculate the resulting DRH

15. Application of Unit Hydrograph