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# WATER RESOURCES

ISOHYETAL METHOD

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OVERVIEW

## At the end of this presentation, you should be able to

• What are isohyetal maps?
• What is the isohyetal method and how to do it?
• What are the assumptions and limitations for the
isohyetal method?

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ISOHYETAL
MAP Isohyet

## • An isohyet is a smooth line

joining points of equal
rainfall on a map. When put
together they form the
isohyetal pattern for the
area (Rakhecha & Singh,
2010)

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ISOHYETAL METHOD

## • Simply, the isohyetal method is used to

calculate the mean catchment rainfall in a
catchment area
• The area between two adjacent isohyets are
measured using a planimeter or can be
• A planimeter is an instrument used to
measure areas of irregular regions

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ISOHYETAL METHOD

STEPS: 𝑁
𝑎𝑛
1. Draw lines through equal precipitation (isohyets) 𝑃ത = ෍ 𝑃
𝐴 𝑛
2. Determine the areas between adjacent isohyets (a1, 𝑛=1
a2 , … a n )
3. Find the mean rainfall between each adjacent Where:
isohyets (P1, P2, … Pn)
an= the area between adjacent isohyetal n and
4. Multiply each mean rainfall by the corresponding n+1
area between the adjacent isohyets (P1 a1, P2 a2, …
Pn an ) Pn = the mean rainfall between n and n+1
5. Sum the products calculated in Step 2 N = the number of isohyetal intervals
6. Divide the sum by the area of catchment A = area of catchment
𝑎𝑛
= the weight applied to the particular
𝐴
precipitation range

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ASSUMPTION

## • During the construction of isohyets it is assumed that rainfall between two

rain gauge stations vary linearly.

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E XAMPL E OF
I SOH Y E TAL
ME T H OD

## Given the values below and using

the figure to the right, determine
the mean areal depth of rainfall
using the isohyetal method.
(Ans=9.30cm)

Area between
Isohyets
Zone isohyets
(cm)
(km2)
I <6 410
II 6-8 900
III 8-10 2850
IV 10-12 1750
V >12 720
VI <8 550 7
LIMITATIONS

• The Isohyetal method is the most accurate method especially when used by an
experienced analyst. It takes into account all the information including the
physiographic features of the area under consideration. However, the method
is very tedious and time consuming (Baby,2013). .
• For each storm, a separate isohyet has to be drawn.
• The isohyetal method considers topographical effects but it is difficult to draw
the isohyets

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SUMMARY

## • Isohyets are contours of equal rainfall

• Isohyetal map is the putting together of isohyets of an area
• In the Isohyetal method it is assumed that rainfall between two rain gauge
stations vary linearly
• The mean catchment rainfall is calculated by summing the products of the
areas between each pair of isohyets and the corresponding mean rainfall
between them, and then dividing by the total catchment area
• The method is very tedious and time consuming

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REFERENCES

## • Baby, J. (2013). Thiessen's Polygon & Isohyetal Methods. Retrieved February 6,

2019, from https://prezi.com/erpi04gzgdfj/thiessens-polygon-isohyetal-methods/
• Rakhecha, P. R., & Singh,V. P. (2010). Applied hydrometeorology. Dordrecht:
Springer.
• The Mathematics of Surveying: Part II. The Planimeter. (2019). Retrieved
February 7, 2019, from http://www.ams.org/publicoutreach/feature-
column/fcarc-surveying-two
• Twort, A. C., Ratnayaka, D. D., & Brandt, M. J. (2000). Water supply. London:
Arnold.

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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