Statistical Distributions and Natural Hydrograph

by Nazeer Ahmed, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


For design projects in the water resources area, a hydrograph is commonly used to determine the flood volume generated by a given drainage basin. The division of total flow into direct runoff and baseflow is of paramount importance for these type of studies. A large sample of hydrographs from differenr geographical areas of the 48 contiguous states is analyzed by applying the Gamma, Beta, and Weibull distributions. Their independent treatment to the runoff data yields identical values of. the shape factor and the storage time constant for each given drainage basin, indicating the usefulness of their applications. Both aparameters are determined through the analysis of measured runoff data at a given stream gaging station. The calibrated forms of the distribution equations describe the natural hydrograph curve well and furnish accurate estimates of the flood volumes and baseflows for a variety of drainage basins.

Subject Headings: Drainage basins | Hydrographs | Water resources | Runoff | Floods | Data analysis | Base flow

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