ENV3105 Hydrology: Basic SreamgaugeE Data: 422313B Emu Creek at Emu Vale - Environment Assignment Help

December 05, 2017
Author : Julia Miles

Solution Code: 1AJAD

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Overview

This assessment is designed to test your achievement of selected learning objectives of Modules 2 to 5. In particular, the assignment involves flood frequency analyses and working with historical streamflow and rainfall data.

The assignment is intended to reinforce and extend your knowledge on hydrological methods and the (substantial) uncertainty associated with design flood estimation.

The purpose of the assignment is to estimate design flood discharges for the Emu Creek at Emu Vale streamgauge site (Queensland gauge 422313B) for a range of average recurrence intervals (2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 year ARIs). The flood frequency analysis (FFA) will be based on consideration of the outputs of three techniques: Annual Series, Partial Series and the new Regional Flood Frequency Estimation (RFFE) developed as part of the AR&R update (Rahman et al, 2015).

The assignment is based on the following main tasks:

  • Obtaining and reviewing the streamflow data
  • Annual Series FFA based on fitting a log Pearson 3 (LP3) distribution to annual discharge maxima
  • Partial Series FFA based on monthly discharge maxima
  • Design discharge estimation using the RFFE method. A catchment plan will be also be prepared.
  • Compilation of the estimates and selection of a set of design flood discharges, based on consideration of the above outputs
  • Assessment of the rainfall frequency associated with the January 2011 flood event
  • Preparation of an assignment report 2. Assignment Tasks

2.1. Streamflow Data

BASIC STREAMGAUGE DATA

Streamflows and relevant gauging information for station 422313B can be downloaded from the Queensland DNRM Water Monitoring Portal 

Access the Portal and find the streamgauge data. Tabulate the following basic gauge information: location (latitude and longitude), the catchment area, when streamgauging started, when rainfall measurements started, the maximum observed instantaneous discharge and when this occurred, and the maximum observed daily total rainfall and when this occurred.

The hydraulic control and associated rating curve are also of interest. Include in your report a photograph of the control weir and an image of the creek cross section at the streamgauge. Provide an image of the rating curve and the flood gaugings that have been undertaken at the site.

How many gaugings have been done to the end of 2013? What is the highest gauging (level and discharge) and how does this compare with the highest recorded flood? Make a comment of the adequacy of the rating curve based on this information, especially the reliability of the discharges associated with the largest floods.

MISSING DATA Download the monthly discharge data from the start of record to the end of the 2014/2015 water year (October-September). Generate a timeseries plot of monthly peak discharges. What percentage of the data is missing (code 255)?

The Annual Series FFA is to be first undertaken on the following basis:

  • Include data for all water years from the start of record to the end of 2014/2015.
  • Exclude from the analysis the water years that have 4 or more months of missing flow data. AR&R recommends several approaches to handle missing data, but this simple exclusion method will be used. This may require an adjustment to the number of years of available data N.
  • Fit a LP3 distribution to the Annual Series, estimate 5% and 95% confidence limits and prepare a flood frequency chart. Extract the design discharge estimates for the specified ARIs.

Once you complete the above analysis, you will find that the Annual Series has a negative high skew. This is due to the presence of a few very small discharges. Including these floods may result in a poor LP3 fit to the much higher major floods, and thus influence the design discharge estimates in this range (> 10 year ARI). AR&R 1987 provides recommendations on removing low outliers or the possible deletion of the lower portion of the Annual Series to improve the LP3 fit. The following approach is suggested:

  • Exclude the lowest 9 floods from the Annual Series and repeat the LP3 analysis. You will need to reduce N and also make adjustments to the probability estimates. ARR&R 1987 provides technical guidance on low flows and an extract from this document is included on Studydesk as a resource (File ExtractAR&R1987.pdf)

The Partial Series FFA is to be undertaken on the following basis:

  • Use the monthly discharge maxima to extract the Partial Series. Monthly discharge maxima are acceptable for small catchments as typically the peaks between months are sufficiently separated by time to be hydrologically independent.
  • Use the monthly discharge data from the start of record to the end of the 2014/2015 water year.
  • For months with missing data, assume that no floods occurred during these periods. This assumption differs to that made in the Annual Series, so may give a different N to use in the analysis. The value of N can be non-integer.
  • Current Australian Rainfall and Runoff (AR&R 1987) recommendations suggest the Partial Series threshold should be selected such that K (the number of independent flood peaks above the threshold) is between N and 3N. (N is the number of years of streamflow data). For consistency, use K equal to N in defining the Partial Series threshold.
  • Plot the Partial Series and, from fitting a suitable regression line, provide design discharge estimates for the specified ARIs. It is appropriate to exclude large floods from the regression analysis.
  • Prepare a Partial Series flood frequency chart

The Regional Flood Frequency Estimation (RFFE) approach to estimate design peak discharges up to 1% AEP for Australian small to medium sized rural catchments has been developed as part of the AR&R update. The RFFE method supersedes the probabilistic Rational Method recommended in AR&R 1987. A draft online tool has been developed to generate RFFE estimates that depend on catchment location and this website can be found 

Details of the RFFE can be found in Rahman et al (2015). Generate a set of design discharge estimates for the Emu Creek catchment using the RFFE method. Also provide a map showing the catchment boundary and the location of the catchment centroid. A base map, obtained from the QTopo online mapping system, can be downloaded from StudyDesk (File QTopo_A3)

The largest recorded floods have an impact on the fitting of a LP3 probability distribution to the Annual Series, more so than the frequent minor floods. It is thus worthwhile investigating the top ranked floods in some detail.

BOM have prepared detailed reports on notable floods in Australia and Queensland reports are available from There are no flood reports for the relatively small Emu Creek. However, the February 2009 flood of the Burdekin River provides a typical example of the contents of a flood event report (this report is referred to in the Study Book Module 2).

Download the Burdekin River February 2009 flood report and familiarise yourself with how the hydrological data is analysed and presented. In this part of the assignment, you will be undertaking a frequency analysis of the observed rainfall intensities (but not to the level of detail covered in this example report).

Available pluviograph data is limited for the Emu Creek catchment. Rainfall measurements are recorded at the streamgauge and the more recent January 2011 flood was selected for analysis. This is the second ranked flood on record. The objective of the analysis is to determine the frequency of the observed rainfall that fell during the January 2011 flood event.

The rainfall analysis involves the following tasks:

  • Access the Water Monitoring Portal, find and plot the recorded flood hydrograph for the January 2011 flood. Include in the plot at least 2 days of flow record after the flood peak and at least 3 days of record prior to the peak. Generate a plot of rainfall data for the same period of time. These plots can be generated online using the Water Monitoring Portal.
  • From the plots, you will be able to identify the period of rainfall that was associated with the flood. Download 15 minute rainfalls for this period of time.
  • Access the BOM IFD site and download the 2013 AR&R IFD data for the gauge location. It is appropriate to use this data as it represents the latest estimates of rainfall frequency.
  • Estimate the time of concentration of the Emu Creek catchment (refer to Section 5.3.2 of the Study book).
  • Estimate the approximate AEP of the observed rainfall depth for the duration corresponding to the time of concentration (round off to the nearest hour). Estimate the corresponding AEP of the 2011 flood discharge (use the Annual Series plotting position estimate).

The probabilistic Rational Method assumes that a flood discharge of a certain frequency is caused by design rainfall of the same frequency (corresponding to the catchment time of concentration). The above analysis demonstrates how this may not be the case for ‘real’ floods.

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Solution:

Streamflow Data

BASIC STREAMGAUGE DATA: 422313B Emu Creek at Emu Vale

Provide a table of the basic gauge information

Table 2.1: Pluviograph data analysis to prepare a rainfall intensity hydrograph
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
Tip count Time of tip Time after previous tip (minutes) Elapsed time since start (minutes) Cum. rainfall depth since start (mm) Rainfall  intensity between tips (mm/hr)
0 Start  09:45 0 0 0  
1 9:52 7 7 1 8.6
2 9.59 7 14 2 8.6
3 10.15 16 30 3 3.8
4 10.2 5 35 4 12.0
5 10.23 3 38 5 20.0
6 10.25 2 40 6 30.0
7 10.33 8 48 7 7.5
8 10.42 9 57 8 6.7
9 10.49 7 64 9 8.6
10 End 11.00 11 75 10 5.5

 

Table 2.2: 5-minute agregated rainfalls
[1] [2] [3] [4]
Elapsed time since start (minutes) Interpolated cum. rainfall depth (mm) 5-min rainfall depth (P5min, mm) 5-min rainfall intensity (I5min, mm/hr)
0 0.00    
5 0.71 0.71 8.57
10 1.43 0.71 8.57
15 2.06 0.63 7.61
20 2.38 0.31 3.75
25 2.69 0.31 3.75
30 3.00 0.31 3.75
35 4.00 1.00 12.00
40 6.00 2.00 24.00
45 6.63 0.63 7.50
50 7.22 0.60 7.17
55 7.78 0.56 6.67
60 8.43 0.65 7.81
65 9.09 0.66 7.95
70 9.55 0.45 5.45
75 10.00 0.45 5.45

Provide a photograph of the control weir

Provide a photograph of the control weir

Provide an image showing the creek cross section at the streamgauge

Provide an image of the rating curve and answer the gauging questions.

Location Latitude 28°13'33.3"S

Longitude 152°14'57.8"E

Catchment Area 140 sq. km
When streamgauging started 09/10/1947
When rainfall measurements started 09/10/1947
The maximum observed instantaneous discharge and when this occurred 596.649mm 12/01/1968 (cumecs)

51550.480 12/01/1968 (ML/day)

Maximum observed daily total rainfall and when this occurred. Maximum gauged level 1.830

Maximum gauge date 27/06/1967

Make a comment of the adequacy of the rating curve based on this information.

Based on the information gathered above, a rating curse is needed to compute the stream discharge. Thus, rating curves are important when doing hydrological calculations.

MISSING DATA

Provide a monthly discharge timeseries plot and state the % of missing data

MISSING DATA

Annual Series Flood Frequency Analysis

ANNUAL SERIES ANALYSIS

Provide a table of the water years in chronological order with the peak discharge for each year and the number of months of missing data for each year. Highlight the water years when the amount of missing data is unacceptable.

Stream Discharge   [140.00]  

Time 422313B    
And 140.00    
Date Discharge (Cumecs)    
  Max Qual  
00:00:00 01/01/1973   255 Sites:
00:00:00 01/01/1974   255 422313B - Emu Creek at Emu Vale Lat:-28.228888 Long:152.227221 Elev:493
00:00:00 01/01/1975 133.596 9  
00:00:00 01/01/1976 341.575 9 Variables:
00:00:00 01/01/1977 5.146 9 100 - Stream Water Level (Metres)
00:00:00 01/01/1978 20.191 59 140 - Stream Discharge (Cumecs)
00:00:00 01/01/1979 36.861 9  
00:00:00 01/01/1980 21.277 9 Qualities:
00:00:00 01/01/1981 106.150 59 9 - CITEC - Normal Reading
00:00:00 01/01/1982 25.017 9 20 - Fair
00:00:00 01/01/1983 206.306 9 30 - Poor
00:00:00 01/01/1984 195.979 9 59 - CITEC - Derived Height
00:00:00 01/01/1985   180 60 - Estimate
00:00:00 01/01/1986 1.806 9 160 - Suspect
00:00:00 01/01/1987 21.061 9 180 - old - Gauge Height < Instrument Threshold
00:00:00 01/01/1988 198.316 9 255 - No data exists
00:00:00 01/01/1989 116.378 9
00:00:00 01/01/1990 50.390 9
00:00:00 01/01/1991 67.069 9
00:00:00 01/01/1992 2.722 9
00:00:00 01/01/1993 0.866 9
00:00:00 01/01/1994 3.517 9
00:00:00 01/01/1995 15.203 9
00:00:00 01/01/1996 528.285 9
00:00:00 01/01/1997 34.650 9
00:00:00 01/01/1998 13.332 9
00:00:00 01/01/1999 94.511 59
00:00:00 01/01/2000 6.300 9
00:00:00 01/01/2001 168.348 9
00:00:00 01/01/2002 1.505 9
00:00:00 01/01/2003 1.478 9
00:00:00 01/01/2004 49.894 30
00:00:00 01/01/2005 12.450 20
00:00:00 01/01/2006 4.591 20
00:00:00 01/01/2007 9.789 20
00:00:00 01/01/2008 367.881 60
00:00:00 01/01/2009 38.859 20
00:00:00 01/01/2010 497.630 60
00:00:00 01/01/2011 601.595 60
00:00:00 01/01/2012 39.499 30
00:00:00 01/01/2013 689.052 60
00:00:00 01/01/2014 130.291 60
00:00:00 01/01/2015 58.743 60
00:00:00 01/01/2016   160

Table the Annual Series discharges, ranked in order. State the number of water years (N) included in the Annual Series, allowing for missing data.

Stream Discharge Volume   [151.00]  

Time 422313B    
And 151.00    
Date Volume ML    
  Total Qual  
00:00:00 01/01/1973   255 Sites:
00:00:00 01/01/1974   255 422313B - Emu Creek at Emu Vale Lat:-28.228888 Long:152.227221 Elev:493
00:00:00 01/01/1975 26207.25 9  
00:00:00 01/01/1976 71209.13 9 Variables:
00:00:00 01/01/1977 6095.19 9 100 - Stream Water Level (Metres)
00:00:00 01/01/1978 8116.97 59 151 - Stream Discharge Volume (Megalitres)
00:00:00 01/01/1979 6066.25 9  
00:00:00 01/01/1980 2982.64 9 Qualities:
00:00:00 01/01/1981 19035.43 59 9 - CITEC - Normal Reading
00:00:00 01/01/1982 11912.49 9 20 – Fair
00:00:00 01/01/1983 42320.34 9 30 – Poor
00:00:00 01/01/1984 35987.85 9 59 - CITEC - Derived Height
00:00:00 01/01/1985   180 60 – Estimate
00:00:00 01/01/1986 878.87 9 160 – Suspect
00:00:00 01/01/1987 5969.40 9 180 - old - Gauge Height < Instrument Threshold
00:00:00 01/01/1988 34971.33 9 255 - No data exists
00:00:00 01/01/1989 24545.57 9
00:00:00 01/01/1990 20033.25 9
00:00:00 01/01/1991 6710.26 9
00:00:00 01/01/1992 2818.78 9
00:00:00 01/01/1993 474.20 9
00:00:00 01/01/1994 2310.06 9
00:00:00 01/01/1995 3363.15 9
00:00:00 01/01/1996 43845.81 9
00:00:00 01/01/1997 2496.25 9
00:00:00 01/01/1998 4167.04 9
00:00:00 01/01/1999 25262.65 59
00:00:00 01/01/2000 4161.70 9
00:00:00 01/01/2001 18543.29 9
00:00:00 01/01/2002 512.21 9
00:00:00 01/01/2003 897.75 9
00:00:00 01/01/2004 8382.29 30
00:00:00 01/01/2005 1992.37 20
00:00:00 01/01/2006 955.56 20
00:00:00 01/01/2007 1543.16 20
00:00:00 01/01/2008 17503.83 60
00:00:00 01/01/2009 7432.14 20
00:00:00 01/01/2010 54329.81 60
00:00:00 01/01/2011 44909.40 60
00:00:00 01/01/2012 16379.81 30
00:00:00 01/01/2013 69505.30 60
00:00:00 01/01/2014 6303.59 60
00:00:00 01/01/2015 9371.32 60
00:00:00 01/01/2016   160

Tabulate the Annual Series statistics (mean and standard deviation of log (discharges) and skew) for both cases of with and without the lowest 9 floods.Provide graphs of the Annual Series, fitted LP3 distribution and 5% & 95% confidence limits for both cases of with and without the lowest 9 floods. of with and without the lowest 9 floods

  1. Partial Series Flood Frequency Analysis

PARTIAL SERIES ANALYSIS

  • State the number of floods (K) included in Partial Series and the corresponding discharge threshold.
  • Table the Partial Series discharges, ranked in order. Show the rank, the month and the peak discharge.
  • Provide a regression plot with fitted equation. Report the floods that were excluded from the regression.
  • Provide a Partial Series frequency chart
  • Report the design discharge estimates for the specified ARIs

  1. RFFE design discharge estimates

  • Provide a catchment plan showing the catchment boundary and centroid for Emu Creek upstream of the streamgauge
  • State the key information to use RFFE, including the centroid and streamgauge coordinates, and catchment area.
  • Table the RFFE design discharge estimates for the specified ARIs

  1. Assessment of January 2011 flood rainfalls

  • Provide plots of the January 2011 flood hydrograph and rainfall from the Water Portal
  • Provide an IFD rainfall depth table covering ARIs from 1 to 100 years and durations from 1 to 24 hours at the gauge location, including the time of concentration values
  • Give the following details of the January 2011 storm associated with the flood peak: total rainfall for the two-day rainfall event, the observed rainfall intensity corresponding to the time of concentration of the catchment, the AEP of this rainfall intensity and the approximate AEP of the peak flood discharge

  1. Selection of design discharge estimates

  • Compile the design discharge estimates in a single table
  • Plot the estimates on linear ARI-Q scale (include also the selected design discharges, from the next step)
  • Table your selected design discharge estimate for each ARI and provide statements to justify your selection

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