Impact of Spatial and Temporal Data Limitations on the Modeling of Runoff Quantity and Quality

by J. J. Warwick, Univ of Nevada-Reno, Reno, United States,
J. Litchfield, Univ of Nevada-Reno, Reno, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Management in the '90s: A Time for Innovation


A small subbasin within an urbanized watershed (Reno, Nevada) was intensively monitored for runoff quantity and quality. The EPA Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) was applied to simulate the observed, in-pipe, runoff hydrographs and associated pollutographs. At this time only the runoff quantity portion of the project has been completed. SWMM performance was evaluated for a variety of spatial aggregation scales from a fine level ( 1/4 acre with all inlets and pipes) to a rather coarse scale which treated the entire 86 acre subbasin as a single hydrologic unit. ARC/INFO Geographic Information System (GIS) software was used to determine pertinent hydrology modeling parameters (e.g., total percent impervious, slope, etc.). Results demonstrated that the coarsest level of spatial aggregation was unsatisfactory, while the medium and finest levels of detail both performed adequately.

Subject Headings: Spatial data | Runoff | Stormwater management | Hydrologic models | Geographic information systems | Water quality | Mathematical models | Nevada | United States

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