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Type: Journal article
Title: Estimating extreme spatial rainfall intensities
Author: Bennett, B.
Lambert, M.
Thyer, M.
Bates, B.
Leonard, M.
Citation: Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 2016; 21(3):04015074-1-04015074-12
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1084-0699
Statement of
Bree Bennett, Martin Lambert, Mark Thyer, Bryson C. Bates, and Michael Leonard
Abstract: Determining the impact of catchment flooding requires an estimate of extreme spatial rainfall intensity. Current flood design practice typically converts a point estimate of rainfall intensity into a spatial rainfall intensity using an areal reduction factor, assumed constant across an entire region. Areal reduction factors do not explicitly consider regional variations in extreme rainfall. Here, a new approach for spatial estimates of extreme rainfall is introduced that directly incorporates the spatial area (A) into an intensity-frequency-duration relationship (IFD). This IFDA approach uses spatial rainfall fields to overcome shortcomings of the areal reduction factor by explicitly incorporating spatial variations in the extreme rainfall intensity. The IFDA approach is evaluated for 11 case study regions in Australia, across climates (tropical to Mediterranean), areas (25–7,225  km2), durations (1–4 days), and average recurrence intervals (ARI 2–100 years). The change in extreme spatial rainfall with respect to area varies markedly within each region suggesting that constant areal reduction factors for a region are inappropriate. Constant areal reduction factors are shown to underestimate extreme spatial rainfall intensities by 5–15%. The IFDA approach avoids these biases and is a promising new technique for use in design flood estimation.
Rights: This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license,
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001316
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