A spatial-temporal rainfall generator for urban drainage design

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The work presented here is a contribution to the Thames Water project of improving the Counters Creek catchment sewerage system in London. An increase in the number of floods affecting basements in the area has indicated the need for improvements to the system. The cost of such improvements could be very high, and as such it is important to determine whether the traditional approach of applying 30-year spatially uniform design storms results in substantial overestimation. The first step in this is to generate simulations of spatially distributed rainfall events, from which 30-year storms can be extracted. Storms are modelled as clusters of Gaussian rainfall cells, extending the earlier Willems method to radar rainfall data. The parameters describing the cells and their motion are sampled from probability distributions derived from parameter estimates gained from 45 historical storm events within the catchment for the period 20002011. This spatial-temporal stochastic rainfall generator produces a two-dimensional time series of simulated storm events, from which events of given return period can be identified.

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