Incorporating River Network Structure for Improved Hydrologic Design of Transportation Infrastructure

When designing transportation infrastructure, stormflow hydrographs are commonly estimated using synthetic unit hydrograph (UH) methods, particularly for ungauged basins. Current synthetic UHs either consider very limited aspects of basin geometry or require explicit representation of the basin flow paths. None explicitly considers the channel network type (i.e., dendritic, parallel, pinnate, rectangular, and trellis). The goal of this study is to develop and test a nonlinear synthetic UH method that explicitly accounts for the network type. The synthetic UH is developed using kinematic wave travel time expressions for hillslope and channel points in the basin. The effects of the network structure are then isolated into two random variables whose distributions are estimated based on the network type. The proposed method is applied to 10 basins from each classification and compared with other related methods. The results suggest that considering network type improves the estimated UHs compared with neglecting it, but the classification is an adequate substitute for the individual network configuration only for pinnate basins.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Colorado State University, Fort Collins

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Fort Collins, CO  United States  80525

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Czyzyk, Kelsey A
    • Mirossi, Dario
    • Niemann, Jeffrey D
  • Publication Date: 2020-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01737863
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC 20-412
  • Contract Numbers: MPC-481
  • Created Date: Apr 27 2020 9:04AM