Effects of Urbanization on Catchment Response

by Rafael L. Bras, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Frank E. Perkins, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 3, Pg. 451-466

Document Type: Journal Paper


A mathematical model was utilized as an experimental tool to perform a series of controlled experiments on small hypothetical catchments characteristic of areas in Puerto Rico. The purpose of the experiments was to quantify the likely effects of typical urban developments on the hydrologic response characteristics of the hypothetical cathments, and to relate these effects to the separate physical changes introduced by urbanization. An important modeling issue also was investigated. Initially a very detailed model of the catchments was employed thus providing a fine spatial resolution but at relatively high cost. A simple scheme was developed in which the detailed model may be replaced by a much coarser and less expensive mathematical model with no significant loss of accuracy.

Subject Headings: Mathematical models | Model accuracy | Urban areas | Catchments | Mathematics | Decision support systems | Urban development | Hydrology | Puerto Rico | United States | Caribbean

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