Share This Article:

Rainfall Infiltration Return Frequency Estimates

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:3161KB) PP. 595-609
DOI: 10.4236/acs.2013.34062    3,393 Downloads   5,140 Views  


Depth-duration analysis, such as accomplished for rainfall, can be useful in the analysis of infiltration of rainfall. The assessment of infiltration depth-duration in terms of return frequency is of interest. In this paper, depth-duration values of daily rainfall infiltration are estimated using the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Curve Number (CN) approach for estimating daily runoff. The CN methods may be generally applicable to soils that are free draining. From the estimated history of daily infiltration, a depth-duration analysis is accomplished for all duration sizes from 1 day to 365 days. These annual outcomes are then analyzed as to a possible underlying probability distribution. For the rain gages considered, the depth-duration infiltration estimates (using the CN approach) appear to be normally distributed. From the fitted distribution, estimates of rare events of rainfall infiltration may be made, and possible linkage to earth movement events accomplished with respect to return frequency of infiltration, which in turn can aid in the design and risk assessment of fixed works involving soil water accumulation.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

T. Hromadka II, M. Phillips, P. Rao, B. Espinosa and T. Hromadka III, "Rainfall Infiltration Return Frequency Estimates," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 595-609. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.34062.


[1] D. R. Maidment, “Handbook of Hydrology,” McGrawHill, Inc., New York, 1993.
[2] G. E. Hecker, et al., “Hydrology Handbook: ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 28,” American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, 1996.
[3] R. Iverson, “Landslide Triggering by Rain Infiltration,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 36, No. 7, 2000, pp. 1897-1910.
[4] R. Ahmad, “Developing Early Warning Systems in Jamaica: Rainfall Thresholds for Hydrological Hazards,” National Disaster Management Conference, Ocho Rios, 9-10 September 2003, pp. 1-29.
[5] P. Frattini, R. Sosio and G. Crosta, “Approaches for Defining Thresholds and Return Periods for Rainfall-Triggered Shallow Landslides,” Hydrological Processes, Vol. 23, No. 10, 2009, pp. 1444-1460.
[6] T. V. Hromadka II, T. V. Hromadka III and M. Phillips, “Use of Rainfall Statistical Return Periods to Determine Thresholds for Mass Wasting Events,” Journal of Environmental and Engineering GeoScience, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2010, pp. 343-356.
[7] W. Chung, I. Wang and R. Wang, “Theory-Based SCSCN Method and Its Applications,” Journal of Hydrological Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 12, 2010, pp. 1045-1058.
[8] M. Jemec and M. Komac, “Rainfall Patterns for Shallow Landsliding in Perialpine Slovenia,” Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer Netherlands, 2011, in press.
[9] M. Crozier, “Prediction of Rainfall-Triggered Landslides: A Test of the Antecedent Water Status Model,” Journal of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Vol. 24, No. 9, 1999, pp. 825-833.<825::AID-ESP14>3.0.CO;2-M
[10] M. Jakob and H. Weatherly, “A Hydroclimatic Threshold for Landslide Initiation on the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver, British Columbia,” Journal of Geomorphology, Vol. 54, No. 3-4, 2003, pp. 137-156.
[11] G. Guymon, “Unsaturated Zone Hydrology,” Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1994.
[12] D. E. Woodward, et al., “National Engineering Handbook,” Natural Resources Conservation Service, United Stated Department of Agriculture, 2004.
[13] V. M. Ponce and R. H. Hawkins, “Runoff Curve Number: Has It Reach Maturity?” Journal of Hydrological Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1996, pp. 11-19.
[14] R. C. Wilson, “Normalizing Rainfall/Debris-Flow Thresholds along the U.S. Pacific Coast for Long-Term Variations in Precipitation Climate,” International Conference on Debris-flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Prediction and Assessment, San Francisco, 7-9 August 1997, pp. 32-43.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.