Office of Research and Development Publications

Efficient Statistical Approach to Develop Intensity-duration-frequency Curves for Precipitation and Runoff under Future Climate

Citation:

Butcher, J., T. Zi, B. Pickard, S. Job, Thomas E. Johnson, AND B. Groza. Efficient Statistical Approach to Develop Intensity-duration-frequency Curves for Precipitation and Runoff under Future Climate. CLIMATIC CHANGE. Springer, New York, NY, 164(1-2):3, (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-02963-y

Impact/Purpose:

There is growing concern about the effects of future changes in precipitation on urban stormwater management infrastructure. This study describes an approach for developing precipitation change scenarios in a format directly useful to assessing risk to stormwater management.

Description:

Ongoing and potential future changes in precipitation will affect water management infrastructure. Urban drainage systems are particularly vulnerable. Design standards for many stormwater practices rely on design storms based on precipitation intensityduration-frequency (IDF) curves. In many locations, climate projections suggest relatively small changes in total precipitation volume, but increased magnitude of extreme events. We develop an approach for estimating future IDF curves that is efficient, can use widely available downscaled GCM output, and is consistent with published IDF curves for the USA that are used in local stormwater regulations and design guides. The method is GCM-agnostic and provides a relatively simple way to develop scenarios in a format directly useful to assessing risk to stormwater management infrastructure. Model biases are addressed through equidistant quantile mapping, in which the modeled change in both the location and scale of the cumulative distribution of storm events from historical to future conditions is used to adjust the extreme value fit used for IDF curve development. The approach requires only precipitation annual maxima, is readily automated, and hits a mid-point between theoretical rigor and ease of application that will be of practical use for the rapid screening of vulnerabilities across projections. We demonstrate estimation of future IDF curves at locations throughout the USA and link IDFderived design storms to a rainfall-runoff model to evaluate the potential change in storage volume requirements for capture-based stormwater management practices by 2065. 

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( JOURNAL/ PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 01/16/2021
Record Last Revised: 05/19/2021
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 351712