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Title:Incorporating River Network Structure for Improved Hydrologic Design of Transportation Infrastructure
Authors:Kelsey A. Czyzyk, Dario Mirossi, and Jeffrey D. Niemann
University:Colorado State University
Publication Date:Mar 2020
Report #:MPC-20-412
Project #:MPC-481
TRID #:01737863
Keywords:channels (waterways), design, infrastructure, kinematics, methodology, network analysis (planning), river basins, streamflow, travel time, unit hydrographs
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications


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.

How to Cite

Czyzyk, Kelsey A., Dario Mirossi, and Jeffrey D. Niemann. Incorporating River Network Structure for Improved Hydrologic Design of Transportation Infrastructure, MPC-20-412. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2020.

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