EPA Science Inventory

Impacts of Spatial Distribution of Impervious Areas on Runoff Response of Hillslope Catchments: Simulation Study

Citation:

Zhang, Y. AND W. Shuster. Impacts of Spatial Distribution of Impervious Areas on Runoff Response of Hillslope Catchments: Simulation Study. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering . American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Reston, VA, 19(6):1089-1100, (2014).

Description:

This study analyzes variations in the model-projected changes in catchment runoff response after urbanization that stem from variations in the spatial distribution of impervious areas, interevent differences in temporal rainfall structure, and antecedent soil moisture (ASM). In this work, an ensemble of hypothetical imperviousness scenarios created for two small (< 1 ha) watersheds were incorporated into the gridded surface subsurface hydrologic analysis (GSSHA) model, which was calibrated against 41 runoff events under natural conditions. Each event was resimulated for each imperviousness scenario. Variations in the model-projected changes in runoff were characterized and related to temporal rainfall dispersion, ASM, and two metrics: (1) proximity of imperviousness from the outlet, and (2) normalized number of downstream pervious elements. Key findings include the following: First, interscenario variations in the simulated runoff were relatively subdued on an event-mean basis but were much wider for individual events. For example, the coefficient of variation (CV) was less than 7.8% for runoff peak but was beyond 20% for certain events. Second, the rate of increase in simulated runoff peaks with elevated imperviousness tends to be lower for events with higher temporal rainfall dispersion and ASM, with one of the largest events exhibiting the slowest rate of increase. Third, both metrics were found to be negatively correlated with simulated runoff depth. These findings point to the possibility of refining the model projection by incorporating indicators of overall locations of impervious areas, rainfall dispersion, and soil moisture conditions.

Purpose/Objective:

The hydrologic impact of extent and spatial distribution of impervious area at hillslope scales is not well understood. An ensemble of hypothetical spatial arrangements of impervious areas were coupled with a runoff model to address the potential uncertainties in the model-projected impacts of imperviousness on catchment runoff response and to examine the underlying causes of the uncertainties. these findings will aid in managing risk in model outputs that are typically used to size and design stormwater management facilities, including green infrastructures.

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000905   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 06/01/2014
Completion Date: 06/01/2014
Record Last Revised: 06/28/2014
Record Created: 06/20/2014
Record Released: 06/20/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 279058

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS BRANCH