Rational Method

Compute Peak Flows for Small Rural & Urban Watersheds

Rational Method

Application:Urban Hydrologic Modeling
Method:Lumped Parameter
Model Type:1D


Why the Rational Method with WMS?
WMS provides a custom interface to the Rational Method model offering a simple way to set model parameters and a graphical user interface to run the model and visualize the results. Gather background data from a variety of sources from GIS to CAD and access online data from numerous databases of maps, images, elevation, land use, and soil data. WMS allows you to interact with models in true 3D taking advantage of optimized OpenGL graphics and to create photo-realistic renderings and animations for PowerPoint, print, and web presentations.

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Rational Method Description:
WMS includes an interface to the rational method which can be used for computing peak flows on small urban and rural watersheds. The interface includes the capability to combine runoff from multiple basins. Two different methods for determining peak flows/hydrographs at downstream confluences are available.

Traditionally a time of concentration is determined at a downstream confluence by determining the longest combination of time of concentration and routing travel time. Given a time of concentration for the outlet, a rainfall intensity can be determined from a rainfall-intensity-duration curve and a peak flow computed. The hydrograph for the confluence is then determined in the same manner they are determined for sub-basins; by using the peak flow, time of concentration, and a dimensionless hydrograph.

Alternatively, hydrographs for the sub-basins can be computed and then routed (lagged) and combined by summing at the confluence points. When using this method detention basins may be defined at confluence points in order to determine the effect of storage on the computations. All of the computations for peak flows, hydrographs, and routing are done within WMS.