# cmutsvangwa: Hydrology: Dept.of Civil and Water Eng.

, NUST, 16/02/2006 15:26:42

ANALYSIS OF PRECIPITATION

Intensity-duration-relationship
If a number of years of rainfall records exist, then it is possible to correlate the
intensity and duration of storms. If the storms are of different intensities and
various durations, then a relationship may be obtained by plotting the
intensities against duration on a log-log paper or natural paper from Talbot’s
formula.

b t
a
i
+
= , for hrs t 2 ≤

n
t
K
t = or for t>2hrs
x
Kt i =

Where: t =duration, hrs
a, b, K, n =constants for a given region

(a) Case a, for: for t>2hrs
n
t
K
t = , taking log for the equation:

t x K i log log log + = , the equation takes the form of a straight
line, and if i and t are plotted on a log-log paper (Fig.3), the slope of the
straight line gives the constants, x and K (Fig. 1). The value of the
constant x is the gradient of the best fit line and K is the intercept when
i=1.

Log-log paper
(
l
o
g

s
c
a
l
e
)

i=K
x
y
x
− =

I
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y
,

m
m
/
h
r

Fig. 1: Determination of constants, K and x
1
time, t (log scale)

Chapter 7: Intensity-duration-relationships
1
cmutsvangwa: Hydrology: Dept.of Civil and Water Eng., NUST, 16/02/2006 15:26:42

(b) Case b, for hrs t 2 ≤

b t
a
i
+
=

a
b t
i
+
=
1

et
y i =
1
,
a
b
f = ,
a
g
1
= L

quation becomes: , which has transformed into linear form of
xample
rainfall-duration-frequency curve (Fig.2). Compute the coefficients
curve

olution
ince the duration of rainfall is less than 2 hours, therefore the equation to
e f tg y + =
equation.

E
Given the
a and b for a 1: 2yr Return period. Take the duration of rainfall to be hrs t 2 ≤ .

Fig.2: Rainfall-duration-frequency
S

S
use is :
b t
a
i =

+
wo points from the rainfall-duration-frequency curve are used e.g. 4.1cm/hr T
and 0.81cm/hr, and for this points hrs t
1
= and hrs t 2
6
=

Chapter 7: Intensity-duration-relationships
2
cmutsvangwa: Hydrology: Dept.of Civil and Water Eng., NUST, 16/02/2006 15:26:42

for 4.1 cm/hr 2439 . 0
1 . 4
1 1
= = =
i
y

2439 . 0 1667 . 0
6
1
= + = + = f g f g y

for 0.81cm/hr 2346 . 1
81 . 0
1 1
= = =
i
y
⇒ ( ) 2 2346 . 1 g f y + = =

olving the two equations simultaneously gives:
,
S

1538 . 0 = f 5404 . 0 = g ,
a
b
f = ,
a
g
1
=

herefore: a=1.8505, b=0.2847
Equation for the intensity-duration-frequency curve becomes:

T

t
i
+
=
2847 . 0
8505 . 1

The accuracy depends on the reading accurately of two points selected and
on the ability of equation
b t
a
i = to represent the shape of the IDF curve. An
accuracy level of 0.01 and greater accuracy can be achieved by using
numerous points from the IDF curve and fitting the coefficients of equation
using least squares, because it is always not possible to accurately interpolate
the values from the curve. The use of many points will minimise the effect of
interpolating error.

+

Chapter 7: Intensity-duration-relationships
3
cmutsvangwa: Hydrology: Dept.of Civil and Water Eng., NUST, 16/02/2006 15:26:42

Chapter 7: Intensity-duration-relationships
4