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# Estimation of Peak Flow

Rational Method.

## Calculate the composite curve number

Calculate the retention, S, using Equation 3
Calculate the depth of direct runoff using
Determine Ia/P from Table
Determine coefficients from Table
Determine tc
Calculate unit peak flow using.
Calculate peak flow using.

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective Rainfall (Runoff)
The model name originates
from the fact that, in its
application a watershed is
characterised by a single
parameter called the curve
number CN.

## Many years of information

developed by SCS based
analyses of gauged
watersheds facilitate CN
estimates.

## The method is widely used

due to its simplicity and the
availability of empirical
information on which to base
estimates of the curve
number CN.

## The method was developed

for computing abstractions
from storm rainfall

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)
For the storm as a whole,
the depth of excess
precipitations or direct
runoff Pe is always less
than or equal to the depth
of precipitation P

## After runoff begins, the

retained in the watershed,
Fa, is less than or equal to
some potential maximum
retention S.

## There is some amount of

rainfall Ia (initial
abstraction before
ponding begins) for which
no runoff will occur, thus
potential runoff is P Ia.

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)

(P Ia )
Pe
P Ia S
2

## The basic equation

for computing the
depth of effective or
direct runoff from a
storm.

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)
By study of results from
many small experimental
watersheds, an empirical
relation was developed
between Ia and S as

Thus

I a 0.2S
( P 0.2S )
Pe
P 0.8S

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)

## Plotting the data for P and Pe

from many watersheds, the SCS
curves are obtained.
To standardize these curves, a
dimensionless curve number CN is
defined such that
0 CN 100.

## For impervious and water

surfaces CN = 100.
For natural surfaces CN < 100

## The curve number CN

and S are related by

2540

25.4

CN

25400

254

CN

S 1000 10

CN

(cm )

( mm)

(in )

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)

## The curve numbers used in the above equation apply

for normal antecedent moisture conditions (AMC II).
For dry conditions (AMC I) or wet conditions (AMC III),
equivalent curve numbers can be computed by
4.2CN ( II )

CN
(
I
)

10 0.058CN ( II )

23CN ( II )
CN ( III )

10 0.13CN ( II )

(dry condition)

(wet condition)

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)

## The range of antecedent moisture conditions

for each class
Total 5-day antecedent rainfall (cm)
AMC group

Dormant season

Growing season

## Less than 3.6

II

1.3 to 2.8

3.6 to 5.4

III

Over 2.8

Over 5.4
Adapted from Chow et al. (1988)

## SCS Curve Number Method for

Effective rainfall (Runoff)

## Curve numbers have been tabulated by the Soil Conservation

Service on the basis of soil type and land use and presented in
Chow et al., (1988)

Four
soil
groups
defined

## Group A: Deep sand,

deep loess,
aggregated silts

Group B: Shallow
loess, sandy loam

## Group C: Clay loam,

shallow sandy loam,
soils low in organic
content, and soils
usually high in clay

## Group D: Soils that

swell significantly
when wet, heavy
plastic clays, and
certain saline soils

## Runoff curve numbers for selected agricultural, suburban, and

urban land uses (antecedent moisture condition II, Ia = 0.2S)
Land Use Description
Cultivated land: Without conservation treatment
With conservation treatment
Pasture or range land: Poor condition
Good condition
Wood or forest land: Thin stand, poor cover, no mulch
Good cover
Open spaces, lawns, parks, golf courses, cemeteries, etc.
Good condition: grass cover on 75% or more or the area
Fair condition: grass cover on 50% to 75% of the area
Commercial and business areas (85% impervious)
Industrial districts (72% impervious)
Residential
Average lot size
Average % impervious
1/8 acre or less
65
acre
38
1/3 acre
30
acre
25
1 acre
20
Paved parking lots, roofs, driveways, etc.
Paved with curbs and storm sewers
Gravel
Dirt

A
B
C
72
81
88
62
71
78
68
79
86
39
61
74
30
58
71
45
66
77
25
55
70

D
91
81
89
80
78
83
77

39
49
89
81

61
69
92
88

74
79
94
91

80
84
95
93

77
61
57
54
51
98

85
75
72
70
68
98

90
83
81
80
79
98

92
87
86
85
84
98

98
76
72

98
85
82

98
89
87

98
91
89

## Having obtained the effective

rainfall Pe, the peak flow is
estimated by the equation

Q qu APe

## Unit peak runoff rate is

estimated as

qu C f .10

K C0 C1 log10 tc C2 (log10 tc ) 2

ponding in drainage
basin

Qa Fp Q

## Water Movers through a Watershed as:

Sheet flow
Shallow concentrated flow
Open channel flow, or
A combination of these.
L
Tt
3600 V

where:
Tt = travel time (hr)
L = flow length (ft)
V = average velocity (ft/s)

Tc Tt T1 T2 T3

Sheet Flow

## Shallow flow depth (< 0.1 ft) over plane surfaces

Only for flows up to 300 feet
0.0913(nL) 0.8
Tt
( P2 ) 0.5 s 0.4
where:
Tt = travel time (hr)
n = mannings roughness coefficient (table 3-1)
L = flow length (m)
P2 = 2-year, 24-hour rainfall (mm)
s = slope of hydraulic grade line (land slope, m/m)

Symbols Defined
Q = peak flow (m3/s)
qu = unit peak runoff rate

(m3/s/km2/mm)
A = catchment area (km2)

## Pe= depth of effective

rainfall (mm)
tc = the time of concentration

(hr)
C0, C1, and C2 are coefficients
Coefficients, listed in Tables, these

## are a function of the 24 hour

rainfall distribution type and Ia/P.

## Qa = adjusted peak flow

(m3/s)
Cf = conversion factor =
0.0043 for SI units
Ia = Initial abstraction (mm)
with Ia= 0.2S

Example

Find: The 10-year peak flow using the SCS peak flow method.

## Given: The following physical and hydrologic conditions.

3.3 sq km of fair condition open space and 2.8 sq km of
large lot residential
Negligible pond and swamp land
Hydrologic soil type C
Average antecedent moisture conditions
Time of concentration is 0.8 hr
24-hour, type II rainfall distribution, 10-year rainfall of 150
mm

## Step 1: Calculate the composite curve number using Table and

Equation
CN = (CNx Ax)/A = [3.3(79) + 2.8(77)]/(3.3 + 2.8) = 78
Step 2: Calculate the retention, S, using Equation
S = 25.4(1000/CN - 10) = 25.4 [(1000/78) - 10] = 72 mm

## Step 3: Calculate the depth of direct runoff using Equation

Pe = (P-0.2S )2 / (P+0.8S ) = [150 - 0.2(72)]2/[[150
+ 0.8(72)] = 89 mm
Step 4: Determine Ia/P from Table
Ia/P = 0.10 (Ia= 0.2S)

## Step 5: Determine coefficients from Table

C0 = 2.55323 ,C1 = -0.61512 C2 = -0.16403
Step 6: Calculate unit peak flow using Equation
qu = (0.000431) (10C0+C1log tc + C2 (log tc )2 )
qu=(0.000431)(10[ 2.55323+(0.61512) log (0.8)+(0.16403) [log (0.8)] 2])
qu = 0.176 m3/s/km2/mm
Step 7: Calculate peak flow using Equation
qp = qu Ak Pe
= (0.176)(3.3 + 2.8)(89) = 96 m3/s