Urban Runoff by Road Research Laboratory Method

by Michael L. Terstriep,
John B. Stall,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 6, Pg. 1809-1834

Document Type: Journal Paper


A simple mathematical model of an urban basin presented in 1962 by the British Road Research Laboratory is tested on three urban watersheds in the United States. The basins are located in Baltimore, Chicago, and Champaign, Ill. They contain 0.395, 12.5, and 2290 acres respectively. The model produces a runoff hydrograph by applying rainfall to only the directly connected impervious area of the basin. The basin is described by a time-area diagram and a discharge-storage relationship. The peak discharges of actual and predicted hydrographs are compared for 39 storms and complete hydrographs are shown for 8 of these. To apply the model to a basin, the pattern of impervious areas must be known in detail, as well as the slopes and sizes of all surface and subsurface drains.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Hydrographs | Mathematical models | Runoff | Highways and roads | Municipal water | Urban areas | Subsurface drainage | United States | Baltimore | Maryland | Chicago | Illinois

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