Sie sind auf Seite 1von 39




2.1 Hydrologic Cycle
Water occurs on the earth in all three states (liquid,
solid and gaseous) and in various degree of motion.
Evaporation of water from water bodies (oceans,
Formation and movement of clouds, rain and
Stream flow & groundwater movement
are some example of dynamic aspects of water.
The various aspects of water related to the earth can
be explained in terms of cycle known as the Hydrologic
Cycle. 2
Figure 1: The Hydrologic Cycle

0 = Evaporation from ocean 5 = Evaporation from water bodies

1 = Raindrop evaporation 6 = Surface runoff

2 = Interception 7 = Infiltration

3 = Transpiration 8 = Groundwater
9 = Deep percolation 3
4 = Evaporation from land
2.2 Precipitation

Precipitation denotes all forms of water that reach the

earth surface from the atmosphere. The usual forms of
precipitation are rainfall, snowfall, hail and drizzle.

The magnitude of precipitation varies with space and

Variation in various regions of a country at a given
Variation at a place in various seasons of the year

Under proper weather conditions, the weather vapour
condenses over nuclei to form tiny droplets of sizes
<0.1 mm in diameter.
Precipitation results when water droplets comes
together and coalesce to form larger drops that can
drop down.
For precipitation to form:
The atmosphere must have moisture
There must b sufficient nuclei present to aid condensation
Weather conditions must be good for condensation of
water vapour to take place &
The product of condensation must reach the earth

Net precipitation at a place and its form depends upon

the weather elements in the volume region enclosing
the clouds and the ground surface at the given place.
The weather elements are:
Wind - Humidity
Temperature - Pressure

Some of the common forms of precipitation are:

- Rain - Glaze
- Snow - Sleet
- Drizzle - Hail 8
Precipitation in the form of water drops of sizes larger than
0.5 mm is called rain.
The term rainfall is commonly used to describe precipitation
in the form of rain.
The maximum size of a raindrop is 6 mm.

Intensity: Flux per unit area per unit time
m3/m2s cm/hr, mm/hr or
Amount: Flux per unit area
m3/m2 cm, mm or in 9

On the basis of intensity rainfall is classified as:

Type Intensisity (mm/hr)

Light rain Trace (0.25 mm) to 2.5
Moderate rain 2.5 to 7.5
Heavy rain >7.5

A fine sprinkle of numerous water droplets of sizes less
than 0.5 mm and intensity less than 1 mm/hr is known
as drizzle.
Snow consists of ice crystals which usually combine to
form flakes.
When rain or drizzle comes in contact with cold ground
at around 0C the water drop freezes to form an ice
coating called Glaze or Freezing rain. 11
It is frozen raindrops of transparent grans which form
when rain falls through air at subfreezing temperature.
In Britain, sleet denotes precipitation of snow and rain
It is a showery precipitation in the form of irregular
pellets or lumps of ice of size more than 8 mm. Hails
occur inn violent thunderstorms in which vertical
currents are strong.

2.3 Rainfall Measurements:
Rain gauge (Manual)
Radar measurement (Auto)

Rain gauge:
A rain gauge essentially consists of cylindrical vessel
assembly kept in the open to collect rain.
Rain gauge is also designated as:

Rainfall Measurements:
Rain gauge can be broadly classified into two
Nonrecording rain gauge
Recording rain gauge

Recording rain gauge:

Tipping Bucket Type
Weighing Bucket Type
Natural Syphon Type

Rainfall Measurements: Nonrecording raingauge

Figure: Nonrecording raingauge (Symons gauge)

Rainfall Measurements: Nonrecording rain gauge

During rainfall rain passes from the funnel to the
bottle inside the metal container.
With a measuring cylinder the volume of water
collected is measured.
The volume of collected water is divided by the
collection area (funnel area) which gives the
precipitation depth.
Bottle fills up quickly during heavy precipitation &
needs replacement.
Manual operation & tedious for remote station. 16
Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

Figure: Tipping Bucket raingauge

Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge
In tipping bucket gauge water caught in the collector
is funnelled into a two-compartment bucket (0.25 or
0.1 mm capacity).
The water fills one compartment and overbalance
the bucket so that it tips, emptying into a reservoir
and moving the second compartment into place
beneath the funnel.
As the bucket is tipped, it actuates an electrical
The data logger connected to the gauge records the
date and time of the tip. 18
Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

Figure: Weighing Bucket raingauge

Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

In weighing type gauge the rain or snow which falls
into a bucket set on the platform of a spring or lever.
The increasing weight of the bucket and its contents
is recorded on a chart.

Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

Figure: Natural syphon or float rain gauge

Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

In natural syphon type rain gauges the rise of a float

with increasing rainfall is recorded on a chart.
In most gauges the float is placed in the receiver, but
in some the receiver rests in a bath of oil or mercury.
The float measures the rise of the oil or mercury
displaced by the increasing weight of the receiver as
the rainfall catch increases.
The gauges are emptied automatically by self starting

Rainfall Measurements: Recording rain gauge

Figure: Recording from a natural syphon type rain gauge (schematic)

A typical chart from a natural syphon type rain gauge.

Total rainfall=53.8 mm, duration=30 hr.
Vertical lines in the pen-trace correspond to the sudden
emptying of the float chamber by syphon action which
resets the pen to zero level. 23
Factors to be considered when installing a

The ground must be level and in the open and the

instrument must present a horizontal catch surface.
The gauge must be set as near the ground as possible
to reduce wind effects but it must be sufficient high
to prevent splashing, flooding and etc.
The instrument must be surrounded by an open

Rainfall Measurements: Radar Measurement

Tipping bucket

Hydro logger and

Scram Card

Scram card read by

Hydro Reader

Computer with TIDEDA software

Rainfall Measurements: Radar Measurement

Radar is a powerful instrument for measuring the areal

extent, location & movement of rainstorms.
The radar antenna emits a regular succession of
pulse of electromagnetic radiation in a narrow beam.
The beam width and shape are determined by the
antenna size & configuration.
The radiated wave, which travels at the speed of
light, is partially reflected by cloud or precipitation
and returns to the radar where it is received by the
Rainfall Measurements: Radar Measurement

The energy returned is called the return power (Pr)

and its display on the radarscope is called an echo.
The brightness of the echo is an indication of the
magnitude of the return power, which in turn is a
measure of the radar reflectivity of the
The time interval between the emission of the pulse
and appearance of the echo on the radar scope is a
measure of the distance called the range (r).
Loss of radar energy due to passage of through
precipitation is called attenuation. 27
Rainfall Measurements: Radar Measurement

Rainfall Measurements: Radar Measurement
Meteorological radars operate with wavelength ranging from
3 to 10 cm.
For light rain and snow a 5 cm wavelength is used.
For heavy flood producing rains a 10 cm wavelength is used.
The hydrological range of a is about 200 km.
A radar can be considered a remote sensing super gauge
covering an areal extent of 100 000 km2.
Radar measurements is continuous in space and time.
Present day developments include:
(i) Online processing of radar data on a computer
(ii) Doppler type radar for measuring raindrop size and
velocity 29
2.4 Rain gauge Network
The catchment area of a rain gauge is very large to the
areal extent of storms:
To get a representative picture of a storm over a
catchment the number of rain gauges should be as
large as possible.
On the other hand economic considerations to a
large extent and other considerations such as
topography, accessibility to some extent restrict
the number of gauges to be maintained.
Hence we aim at an optimum density of gauges
for which reasonably accurate information about
storms can be obtained. 30
Rain gauge Network
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommend the
following densities of rain gauge network:
1. In flat regions of temperate, Mediterranean & tropical zones:
Ideal 1 stations for 600-900 km2
Acceptable 1 station for 900-3000 km2
2. In mountainous regions of temperate, Mediterranean &
tropical zones:
Ideal 1 stations for 100-250 km2
Acceptable 1 station for 250-1000 km2
3. In arid and polar zones:
1 stations for 1500-10 000 km2
10% of rain gauge stations should be equipped with self
recording gauges to know the intensity of rainfall. 31
Raingauge Network

EXAMPLE - Adequacy of rain gauge stations.

A catchment has six rain gauge stations. In a year, the

annual rainfall recorded by the gauges are as follows:
Station A B C D E F
Rainfall (cm) 82.6 102.9 180.3 110.3 98.8 136.7

(a) Determine the standard error in the estimation of

mean rainfall in the existing set of rain gauges.
(b) For a 10% error in the estimation of the mean
rainfall, calculate the optimum number of rain
gauge stations in the catchment.

SOLUTION - Adequacy of rain gauge stations.

2.5 Preparation of Data
Estimation of missing rainfall data:

If the normal annual precipitation at various stations are within

about 10% of the normal annual precipitation at station X, then
a simple arithmetic average procedure is followed to estimate Px

(Eq. 2.5.1)

P1,P2,P3,..Pm = annual precipitation at neighbouring stations
1,2,3,M, respectively
Px = missing annual precipitation at station X (not
included in M stations)
M = number of neighbouring stations
Preparation of Data
Estimation of missing rainfall data:

If the normal precipitations vary more than 10%, then Px is estimated by

weighing the precipitation at the various stations by the ratios of normal
annual precipitations. This method is known as the normal ratio method.

(Eq. 2.5.2)

P1,P2,P3,.Pm = annual precipitation at neighbouring stations 1,2,3,M,
Px = missing annual precipitation at station X (not included in
M stations)
M = number of neighbouring stations
N1,N2,N3N = normal annual precipitations at each of the above (M+1)
stations including neighbouring station X 36
EXAMPLE Estimation of missing rainfall data.

The normal annual rainfall at stations A, B, C and D in a

basin are 80.97, 67.59, 76.28 and 92.01 cm
respectively. In the year 1985, the station D was
inoperative and the stations A, B and C recorded annual
precipitation of 91.11, 72.23 and 79.89 cm respectively.
Estimate the rainfall at station D in that year.

SOLUTION - Estimation of missing rainfall data.


for your attention