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Estimation of Peak Flow

NRCS (SCS) Curve Number Method.


Rational Method.

Steps in using the NCRS 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


additional depth of water
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 1.3

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
Meadow: 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.
Streets and roads:
Paved with curbs and storm sewers
Gravel
Dirt

Hydrologic Soil Group


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

SCS Peak Flow Estimation

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

Adjusted equation for


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
read from tables based on
Coefficients, listed in Tables, these

are a function of the 24 hour


rainfall distribution type and Ia/P.

Qa = adjusted peak flow


(m3/s)
Fp = adjustment factor
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