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Flood-Runoff Analysis

Course Outline

This course describes methods for evaluating flood-runoff characteristics of watersheds based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Manual on Flood-Runoff Analysis . Guidance is provided in selecting and applying such methods. The manual references publications that contain the theoretical basis of the methods and detailed information on their use.

The manual is organized into four parts. Part I, Problem Definition and Selection of Methodology, describes the products of flood-runoff analysis and the types of investigation for which these products are required. Aspects of flood hydrology are discussed, including physical processes, data availability, and broad approaches to analysis. Guidance in formulating study procedures is provided, which includes criteria for method selection and recommended content for a hydrologic engineering management plan (HEMP). Part II, Hydrologic Analysis, provides information on techniques for simulating various components of the hydrologic cycle, including rainfall, snow, infiltration (loss), surface and subsurface runoff, and flow in channels and reservoirs. Multisubbasin modeling and design storm definition are discussed. Part III, Methods for Flood-Runoff Analysis, addresses the application of simplified techniques, frequency analysis of streamflow data, precipitation-runoff simulation of storm events, and period-of-record precipitation- runoff simulation. Data requirements and calibration/ verification of simulation models are considered. Part IV, Engineering Applications, deals with several issues associated with the application of methods from Part III. The processing of data can be time-consuming and costly; techniques for efficient data handling are addressed. The lack of historical streamflow data is the source of much difficulty and uncertainty in flood-runoff analysis. Aspects of dealing with "ungauged" basins are discussed. Issues associated with the develop-ment of frequency-based estimates are covered, including the concept of calibration to "known" frequency information. Various aspects of modeling land use change, as well as the effects of reservoir and other projects, are discussed. Finally, three examples illustrate some of the principles presented in this manual. Appendices A and B provide references, a generic HEMP, and a set of example applications.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be familiar with:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for civil engineers who are involved with or have interest in flood-runoff analysis.

Benefit to Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to gain knowledge and familiarity of different methodologies and approaches of flood-runoff analysis.

Course Content

The purpose of this course is to provide guidelines of selecting and applying methods for evaluating flood-runoff characteristics of watersheds. You will be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' website to study Engineering and Design - Flood-Runoff Analysis (Engineer Manual EM 1110-2-1417, 1994 edition, 214 pages, PDF file format), which discusses hydraulic analysis, methods for flood-runoff analysis and engineering applications.

The following contains the outline of the Engineer Manual EM 1110-2-1417:

Flood-Runoff Analysis

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Scope and Organization
Relationship to Other Guidance

Part I Problem Definition and Selection of Methodology

Chapter 2 Introduction to Flood-Runoff Analysis General

Applications of Flood-Runoff Analysis
Nature of Flood Hydrology
Data Considerations
Approaches to Flood-Runoff Analysis

Chapter 3 Study Formulation and Reporting General

Overview of Corps Flood Damage Reduction Studies
Planning and Managing the Hydrologic Investigation
Hydrologic Engineering Analysis Strategy
Hydrologic Requirements for Planning Studies
Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) Phase
Construction and Operation
Reporting Requirements

Part II Hydrologic Analysis

Chapter 4 Rainfall Analysis General

Point Rainfall Data
Rainfall Data From Remote Sensors
Areal and Temporal Distribution of Rainfall Data

Chapter 5 Snow Analysis General

Physical Processes
Data Requirements, Collection, and Processing
Simulating Snow Accumulation
Simulating Snowmelt

Chapter 6 Infiltration/Loss Analysis General

Gauged versus Ungauged Parameter Estimation
Antecedent Moisture Conditions
Surface Loss Estimation
Infiltration Methods
Impervious Areas
Method Selection

Chapter 7 Precipitation Excess - Runoff Transformation

Runoff Subdivision
Unit Hydrograph Approach
Kinematic Wave Approach

Chapter 8 Subsurface Runoff Analysis General

Event-Oriented Methods
Continuous Simulation Approach to Subsurface Modeling
Existing Continuous Simulation Models
Parameter Estimation for Continuous Simulation Models

Chapter 9 Streamflow and Reservoir Routing General

Hydraulic Routing Techniques
Hydrologic Routing Techniques
Applicability of Routing Techniques

Chapter 10 Multisubbasin Modeling

General Considerations for Selecting Basin Components
Selection of Hydrograph Computation Locations
Calibration of Individual Components
Calibration of Multisubbasin Model
Verification of the Multisubbasin Model

Part III Methods for Flood-Runoff Analysis

Chapter 11 Simplified Techniques Introduction

Rational Method
Regional Frequency Analysis
Envelope Curves
Rainfall Data Sources

Chapter 12 Frequency Analysis of Streamflow Data

Frequency Analysis Concepts
Graphical Techniques
Numerical Techniques
Special Considerations

Chapter 13 Analysis of Storm Events Introduction

Model Development
Model Calibration
Simulation of Frequency-Based Design Floods
Simulation of Standard Project and Probable Maximum Floods

Chapter 14 Period-of-Record Analysis General

Simulation Requirements
Model Calibration

Part IV Engineering Applications

Chapter 15 Data Collection and Management

Data Management Concepts
Geographic Information Systems
Data Acquisition and Use

Chapter 16 Ungauged Basin Analysis

Loss-Model Parameter Estimates
Runoff-Model Parameter Estimates
Routing-Model Parameter Estimates
Statistical-Model Parameter Estimates
Reliability of Estimates

Chapter 17 Development of Frequency-Based Estimates

Choice of Methodology
Hypothetical Storm Frequency
Transfer of Frequency Information with Hypothetical Events
Development of Future-Condition Frequency Estimates
Adjustment of Peak Discharges to Represent Stationary Conditions

Chapter 18 Evaluating Change General

Evaluating Catchment and Conveyance-System Change
Procedure for Evaluating Damage-Reduction Plans
Evaluating Reservoir and Detention Basins
Evaluating Channel Alterations and Levees
Evaluating Other Alternatives

Appendix A References
Appendix B Hydrologic Engineering Management Plan for Flood Damage Reduction Feasibility-Phase Studies

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please refer to:


Once you finish studying the above course content you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

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DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.