Estimation of the HEC1 loss parameters for routing the probable maximum flood

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Twenty storm events were used to select design values of the HEC1 loss parameters STRTL and CNSTL in order to route the probable maximum flood, PMF, through the Englewood watershed, Ohio. The parameter STRTL represents the initial volume of water lost due to interception and incomplete saturation of the soil prior to the storm. The parameter CNSTL represents a continuous loss rate and depends only on the watershed. When optimized from each storm event, STRTL varied between 0.0 and 3.4 inches with an average of 1.0 inch; CNSTL varied between 0.02 and 0.26 inch/hour, and it followed a normal probability distribution with a mean of about 0.1 inch/hour. The absence of correlation between optimum CNSTL values and each of total rainfall, total loss, and runoff duration supported the selection of the mean CNSTL as a design value. PMF routing through the Englewood watershed revealed that the PMF at the outlet is not sensitive to STRTL, but highly affected by CNSTL variations. The insensitivity to STRTL was due to the presence of a dam at the outlet of the watershed that caused the buildup of water in the watershed, thereby masking the storage effect of STRTL. The peak PMF increased by about 27 percent when the design CNSTL was decreased to 0.05 inch/hour, and decreased by about 18 percent when the design CNSTL was increased to 0.15 inch/hour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • Baseflow
  • HEC1
  • Loss parameters
  • Optimum
  • PMF
  • Rainfall loss


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