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An Intensity-Duration-Frequency curve (IDF

Curve) is a graphical representation of the

probability that a given average rainfall
intensity will occur
Step 1: Preparation of annual maximum data
The rainfall for different durations are obtained
from the rain gauge data
Step 2: Fitting the probability distribution
Gumbels Extreme Value distribution
Gamma distribution (two parameter)
Log Pearson Type III distribution
Normal distribution
Log-normal distribution (two parameter)
Step 3: Determining the rainfall depths
To compute for the precipitation depth on a
given duration:

mean frequency Standard

factor for deviation
return period T
Rainfall Intensity (mm/hr)
rate of precipitation
can be either instantaneous intensity or average
intensity over the duration of rainfall
Rainfall Duration
how many hours it rained at that intensity

Rainfall Frequency
The frequency is expressed in terms of return
period (T) which is the average length of time
between rainfall events that equal or exceed the
given (design) magnitude.
If local rainfall data is available, IDF curves can be
developed using frequency analysis.
The rainfall intensity to be used in the rational
formula depends on the return period of the
event to be considered in the design of the
system. The rainfall intensity is obtained from
the established IDF using a duration equal to
the time of concentration.
one of the parameters needed to calculate peak
runoff rate for design of a variety of storm water
management structures

Storm sewer Storm water inlet Storm water detention

The design rainfall intensity is the intensity of
a constant intensity design storm having the
specified design return period and duration
equal to the time of concentration for the
drainage area

Return period - the average length of time between

occurrences of that hydrological event at the
specified magnitude or greater at that location
a concept used in hydrology to measure the
response of a watershed to a rain event
the time needed for water to flow from the
most remote point in a watershed to the
watershed outlet
tc=time of concentration in minutes
i= rainfall excess in mm/hr
L =distance from the catchment boundary to the
outlet in meters
n= Manning roughness coefficient
so= is ground slope
tc = time of concentration in minutes
L = channel length in meters
So = (dimensionless) average slope along the flow
= Small agricultural watershed (less than 80 ha)
= Slope range 3%-10%
Tc = Time of concentration (minutes)
ie = Rainfall intensity (mm/hr)
L = Overland flow distance (meters)
Cr = Retardance factor
So = Slope of catchment
Surface Cr
Very smooth asphalt 0.0070
Tar and sand pavement 0.0075
Crushes-slate roof 0.0082
Concrete 0.012
Tar and gravel pavement 0.017
Closely clip sod 0.016
Dense bluegrass 0.060
Tc = Time of concentration (minutes)
k = 0.826 if L is in English; 1.439 if SI
L = Overland Flow length (meters)
r = Overland Flow Retardance coefficient
So = Overland Flow slope
Surface r
Smooth Pavements 0.02
Asphalt/Concrete 0.05-0.15
Smooth bare packed soil, free of stones 0.10
Light turf or Poor grass on moderately rough 0.20
Cultivated row crops 0.20
Average grass or Pasture 0.40
Dense turf or Dense grass 0.17-0.80
Bermuda Grass 0.30-0.48
Deciduous timberland 0.60
Conifer timberland, dense grass 0.60-0.80
Deciduous timberland (with deep forest litter) 0.80
Tc = Time of concentration (minutes)
C = Rational Formula runoff coefficient
L = Overland Flow length (meters)
S = Overland Flow slope in percent
Tc = Time of concentration (minutes)
Lm = Channel flow length (feet)
Lt = Overland Flow length (feet)
S = Overland Flow slope
Tc = Time of concentration (minutes)
L = Length of flow
V = Flow Velocity
k = Number of segments
i = Flow segment
Using the following information below, determine the time of
concentration from point A to point E. Using the SCS Velocity method.
Reach Flow Description Slope % Length (m)
A to B Overland (average grass) 10 260
B to C Overland (grass waterway concentrated flow) 3 250
C to D Storm sewer n=0.012, diameter is 0.9 m 1.5 450
D to E Open channel (1.2 m wide, 0.75 m deep, n=0.013) 0.5 580

Travel time for segment AB
L AB 260 m, slope S = 10% , k AB 2.13 m / s (from the table)
VAB kAB S 2.13 0.10 0.67m / s
LAB 260 388 s
t AB
VAB 0.67
Travel time for segment BC
L BC 250 m, slope S = 3% , kBC 4.57 m / s (from the table)
VBC kBC S 4.57 0.03 0.79m / s
LBC 250 316 s
t BC
VBC 0.79
Travel Time for segment CD
Culvert diameter 0.90 m, n 0.012, L 450m, slope S 1.5%

V= R S 1/2
1 2/3

D 0.9
Assume that the pipe is just flowing full, R= 0.225m
4 4
V= 0.225 2/3 0.015 1/ 2 3.78m / s
L 450
tCD 119 s
V 3.78
Segment CD
Length L=580m
Open Chnannel: width =1.2m, depth = 0.75, slope =0.5%, n=0.013
A=1.2(0.75)=0.90 m2 ; P=1.2+2(0.75)=2.70 m
A 0.9 1
R= 0.75
P 2.70 3 1.20
1 2/3 1/ 2 1 1
V R S 0.005 2.61 m / s

n 0.013 3
L 580
travel time t 222 sec
V 2.61
Time of concentration tc=tAB tBC tCD tDE
tc 388 316 119 222 1045sec or 17.42 min