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Sensitivity of peak flow to the change of rainfall temporal pattern due to warmer climate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-559
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume560
Early online date17 Mar 2018
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Mar 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2018

Abstract

The widely used design storms in urban drainage networks has different drawbacks. One of them is that the shape of the rainfall temporal pattern is fixed regardless of climate change. However, previous studies have shown that the temporal pattern may scale with temperature due to climate change, which consequently affects peak flow. Thus, in addition to the scaling of the rainfall volume, the scaling relationship for the rainfall temporal pattern with temperature needs to be investigated by deriving the scaling values for each fraction within storm events, which is lacking in many parts of the world including the UK. Therefore, this study analysed rainfall data from 28 gauges close to the study area with a 15-min resolution as well as the daily temperature data. It was found that, at warmer temperatures, the rainfall temporal pattern becomes less uniform, with more intensive peak rainfall during higher intensive times and weaker rainfall during less intensive times. This is the case for storms with and without seasonal separations. In addition, the scaling values for both the rainfall volume and the rainfall fractions (i.e. each segment of rainfall temporal pattern) for the summer season were found to be higher than the corresponding results for the winter season. Applying the derived scaling values for the temporal pattern of the summer season in a hydrodynamic sewer network model produced high percentage change of peak flow between the current and future climate. This study on the scaling of rainfall fractions is the first in the UK, and its findings are of importance to modellers and designers of sewer systems because it can provide more robust scenarios for flooding mitigation in urban areas.

    Research areas

  • Climate change, Peak flow, Rainfall temporal pattern, Scaling for rainfall volume and fraction

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169418302075. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.4 MB, PDF document

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