EPA Science Inventory

An Overview of Rainfall-Runoff Model Types

Citation:

Sitterson, J., Chris Knightes, R. Parmar, K. Wolfe, M. Muche, AND B. Avant. An Overview of Rainfall-Runoff Model Types. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-17/482, 2017.

Description:

This report explores rainfall-runoff models, their generation methods, and the categories under which they fall. Runoff plays an important role in the hydrological cycle by returning excess precipitation to the oceans and controlling how much water flows into stream systems. Modeling runoff can help to understand, control, and monitor the quality and quantity of water resources. A few categories of rainfall-runoff models are described by the model structure and spatial processes within the model. Both control the way models calculate runoff. Model structure is based on the governing equations a model uses to determine runoff; categories can be generalized into empirical, conceptual, and physical structures. Spatial processes within a model are the interpretation of the catchment characteristics to be modeled. This category separates models into lumped, semi-distributed, and distributed models, which is a generalization because many models overlap and contain elements from each of the categories. A discussion about comparing different runoff models and observed runoff values is presented as well. This report aims to inform modelers about various rainfall-runoff models and their strengths and weaknesses.

Purpose/Objective:

The goal of the Hydrologic Micro Services (HMS) project is to develop an ecosystem of inter-operable water quantity and quality modeling components. Components are light-weight and can be integrated to rapidly compose work flows to address water quantity and quality related questions. Each component may have multiple implementations ranging from macro (coarse) to micro (detailed) levels of modeling the physical processes. The components leverage existing internet-based data sources and sensors. They can be integrated into a work flow in two ways: calling a web service or downloading component libraries. For light-weight components, it is generally more efficient to call a web service, however, it is more efficient to have local copies of components if the component requires large amounts of input/output data.

URLs/Downloads:

FINAL_RUNOFF_MODELS_SITTERSON 508 REVISED.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 1099.77 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Completion Date: 01/01/2018
Record Last Revised: 01/11/2018
Record Created: 01/11/2018
Record Released: 01/11/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 339328

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

COMPUTATIONAL EXPOSURE DIVISION