Estimation of Clark’s Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph Parameters and Development of Direct Surface Runoff Hydrograph

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Water Resources Management





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We present a method to estimate Time of Concentration (T c) and Storage Coefficient (R) to develop Clark’s Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (CIUH). T c is estimated from Time Area Diagram of the catchment and R is determined using optimization approach based on Downhill Simplex technique (code written in FORTRAN). Four different objective functions are used in optimization to determine R. The sum of least squares objective function is used in a novel way by relating it to slope of a linear regression best fit line drawn between observed and simulated peak discharge values to find R. Physical parameters (delineation, land slope, stream lengths and associated drainage areas) of the catchment are derived from SPOT satellite imageries of the basin using ERDAS: Arc GIS is used for geographic data processing. Ten randomly selected rainfall–runoff events are used for calibration and five for validation. Using CIUH, a Direct surface runoff hydrograph (DSRH) is developed. Kaha catchment (5,598 km2), part of Indus river system, located in semi-arid region of Pakistan and dominated by hill torrent flows is used to demonstrate the applicability of proposed approach. Model results during validation are very good with model efficiency of more than 95% and root mean square error of less than 6%. Impact of variation in model parameters T c and R on DSRH is investigated. It is identified that DSRH is more sensitive to R compared to T c. Relatively equal values of R and T c reveal that shape of DSRH for a large catchment depends on both runoff diffusion and translation flow effects. The runoff diffusion effect is found to be dominant.


Clark’s instantaneous unit hydrograph; Computer simulation; Direct surface runoff hydrograph; Hydrograph parameter estimation; Hydrologic models; Pakistan; Runoff – Mathematical models; Storage coefficient; Time of concentration


Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies | Hydrology




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