A Method for Estimating Peak Flows from Small Agricultural Watersheds

by James V. Bonta, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, United States,
A. Ramachandra Rao, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Planning and Analysis in Action


An attempt was made to develop a method for estimating peak runoff from agricultural watersheds by analyzing precipitation and runoff data, and incorporating the results into a procedure for estimating peak flow rates and associated return periods. A method for utilizing dimensionless F.A. Huff curves with the CREAMS model to synthesize the frequency distribution of peak runoff rates from one watershed at Coshocton, Ohio is presented. The frequency distributions of synthesized and observed peak flows were found to correspond to each other. A sensitivity study on some model inputs showed that the method is insensitive to some uncertain inputs which is a desirable feature. Although the method has several desirable features for practical application, it must be investigated further on watersheds in different geographic and climatologic regions before it can be widely applied.

Subject Headings: Watersheds | Peak flow | Agricultural wastes | Runoff | Frequency distribution | Precipitation | Rain water | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Ohio | United States

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