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Title: Enhancing Hydrologic Design by Next-Generation Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves Considering Snowmelt and Climate Nonstationarity

Abstract

Precipitation intensity-duration-frequency (PREC-IDF) curves are a standard tool to derive design floods for hydraulic infrastructure design worldwide. In snow-dominated regions where a large percentage of flood events are caused by snowmelt and rain-on-snow events, precipitation alone can be a poor predictor of flood risk. Meanwhile, anthropogenic climate change is expected to intensify hydrological cycle and alter hydrologic extremes, potentially increasing the likelihood of infrastructure failure in their design life period. To enhance future hydrologic design, we propose the next-generation IDF (NG-IDF) curves with consideration of both snow process and climate nonstationarity. The NG-IDF curves, which characterize the actual water reaching the land surface (melt + rain), use of the concept of “water available for runoff” rather than “rainfall” for hydrologic design. This paper shows that in the mountainous regions of the western United States, the standard PREC-IDF curves without considering snow process can substantially underestimate the input water intensities and the consequent peak design floods (i.e., the PREC-IDF curves may lead to underestimation of peak design flood by as much as 324%). Under a warming climate, we also observe statistically significant declining trends in both snowpack mass and extreme water available for runoff across the mountainous regions of the westernmore » United States from 1979 to 2017, confirming the proclamation that “stationarity is dead” and demonstrating the need to develop nonstationary NG-IDF curves for future hydrologic design.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1523386
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-140569
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2019: Groundwater, Sustainability, Hydro-Climate/Climate Change, and Environmental Engineering, May 19–23, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Yan, Hongxiang, Sun, Ning, Wigmosta, Mark S., Leung, Lai-Yung, Hou, Zhangshuan, Skaggs, Richard, and Coleman, Andre. Enhancing Hydrologic Design by Next-Generation Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves Considering Snowmelt and Climate Nonstationarity. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Yan, Hongxiang, Sun, Ning, Wigmosta, Mark S., Leung, Lai-Yung, Hou, Zhangshuan, Skaggs, Richard, & Coleman, Andre. Enhancing Hydrologic Design by Next-Generation Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves Considering Snowmelt and Climate Nonstationarity. United States.
Yan, Hongxiang, Sun, Ning, Wigmosta, Mark S., Leung, Lai-Yung, Hou, Zhangshuan, Skaggs, Richard, and Coleman, Andre. Thu . "Enhancing Hydrologic Design by Next-Generation Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves Considering Snowmelt and Climate Nonstationarity". United States.
@article{osti_1523386,
title = {Enhancing Hydrologic Design by Next-Generation Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves Considering Snowmelt and Climate Nonstationarity},
author = {Yan, Hongxiang and Sun, Ning and Wigmosta, Mark S. and Leung, Lai-Yung and Hou, Zhangshuan and Skaggs, Richard and Coleman, Andre},
abstractNote = {Precipitation intensity-duration-frequency (PREC-IDF) curves are a standard tool to derive design floods for hydraulic infrastructure design worldwide. In snow-dominated regions where a large percentage of flood events are caused by snowmelt and rain-on-snow events, precipitation alone can be a poor predictor of flood risk. Meanwhile, anthropogenic climate change is expected to intensify hydrological cycle and alter hydrologic extremes, potentially increasing the likelihood of infrastructure failure in their design life period. To enhance future hydrologic design, we propose the next-generation IDF (NG-IDF) curves with consideration of both snow process and climate nonstationarity. The NG-IDF curves, which characterize the actual water reaching the land surface (melt + rain), use of the concept of “water available for runoff” rather than “rainfall” for hydrologic design. This paper shows that in the mountainous regions of the western United States, the standard PREC-IDF curves without considering snow process can substantially underestimate the input water intensities and the consequent peak design floods (i.e., the PREC-IDF curves may lead to underestimation of peak design flood by as much as 324%). Under a warming climate, we also observe statistically significant declining trends in both snowpack mass and extreme water available for runoff across the mountainous regions of the western United States from 1979 to 2017, confirming the proclamation that “stationarity is dead” and demonstrating the need to develop nonstationary NG-IDF curves for future hydrologic design.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1523386}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {5}
}

Conference:
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