American Society of Civil Engineers

Using a GIS-Based Solution for Watershed Analysis and Automation: A Case Study

by Seth Brown, (Water Resources Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc., 301 N. Charles Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, Maryland 21201) and David D. Dee, Jr., P.E., M.ASCE, (Professional Associate, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc., 1000 Marion Center, Suite 101, Fairmont, West Virginia 26554)
Section: Watershed Analyses, pp. 1-10, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Building Partnerships
Abstract: A GIS application called GISHYDRO is being used by the Maryland State Highway Administration (MdSHA). The GIS application is being used to save time in developing the hydrologic parameters for a drainage area with a size of approximately 150 square kilometers. To be more specific, GISHYDRO was used to develop RCN numbers for existing and ultimate land use conditions as well as provide initial estimates for times of concentration and to develop a TR-20 model. The use of GISHYDRO saved the project a significant amount of time by automating the process of developing RCN numbers, drainage areas, slopes, stream lengths and times of concentration. Also the results show that it provided this automation with a great deal of accuracy. The watershed is a rural watershed consisting primarily of forested and agricultural lands. The watershed’s slopes are between 0.005 and 0.010 m/m, there are no major reservoirs, and the valleys are narrow and provide little storage for attenuation. The watershed is dendric and has a relatively high drainage density. The subwatersheds range from 8.26 square kilometers to 29.16 square kilometers, with the average subwatershed around 15.54 square kilometers.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Hydrologic aspects
Land use