Monitoring, understanding and modelling rainfall-runoff behaviour in two small residential urban catchments.

Redfern, TW
(2017) Monitoring, understanding and modelling rainfall-runoff behaviour in two small residential urban catchments. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Understanding the urban rainfall-runoff process is an important challenge for the hydrological sciences. Urban areas exhibit a complex mosaic of surface covers, ranging from those of an anthropogenic origin to surfaces of a disturbed natural form, which exhibit varying hydrological behaviours. The urban rainfall-runoff process is managed to reduce the risk of flooding within urban areas, whilst also considering the volume of runoff that downstream water bodies receive. Efforts to understand and manage the urban rainfall-runoff process are often hampered by a lack of rainfall runoff data of sufficient temporal (length and/or frequency) and spatial resolution for locations of interest. Therefore, urban rainfall-runoff processes are typically estimated using hydrological models that attempt to characterise the physical nature of urban areas (using assumptions and estimates of surface hydrological behaviour), that rarely consider how small-scale variations in urban surface cover and hydraulic connectivity influence rainfall-runoff behaviour. This thesis investigates how variations in the physical design, hydraulic form and age of two residential developments of north Swindon (Arley Close and Winsley Close) influence rainfall-runoff behaviour. Through high resolution monitoring of precipitation, drainage flows and soil moisture, a novel understanding of the complex rainfall-runoff properties of urban surface covers is developed, rejecting commonly applied, yet inaccurate assumptions regarding the total imperviousness of urban surfaces. The ability of engineering rainfall-runoff models to replicate the field study site results is assessed to develop an improved understanding of how variations in urban development patterns can be better represented within modelling tools. The implications of inaccurate rainfall-runoff modelling arising from the use of assumptions and estimates within the planning of a retro-fitted surface water drainage storage tank are assessed, demonstrating the importance of developing improved understanding of rainfall-runoff processes at small-scales within the urban environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2018 15:24
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:35
DOI: 10.17638/03020269