Huff, William Edward 1988- (2012-12). Advanced Technology for Railway Hydraulic Hazard Forecasting. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Railroad bridges and culverts in the United States are often subject to extreme floods, which have been known to washout sections of track and ultimately lead to derailments. The potential for these events is particularly high in the western U.S. due to the lack of data, inadequate radar coverage, and the high spatial and temporal variability of storm events and terrain. In this work, a hydrologic model is developed that is capable of effectively describing the rainfall-runoff relationship of extreme thunderstorms in arid and semi-arid regions. The model was calibrated and validated using data from ten storms at the semi-arid Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. A methodology is also proposed for reducing the amount of raingages required to provide acceptable inputs to the hydrologic model, and also determining the most appropriate placement location for these gages. Results show that the model is capable of reproducing peak discharges, peak timings, and total volumes to within 22.1%, 12 min, and 32.8%, respectively. Results of the gage reduction procedure show that a decrease in the amount of raingages used to drive the model results in a disproportionally smaller decrease in model accuracy. Results also indicate that choosing gages using the minimization of correlation approach that is described herein will lead to an increase in model accuracy as opposed to selecting gages on a random basis.
  • Railroad bridges and culverts in the United States are often subject to extreme floods, which have been known to washout sections of track and ultimately lead to derailments. The potential for these events is particularly high in the western U.S. due to the lack of data, inadequate radar coverage, and the high spatial and temporal variability of storm events and terrain.



    In this work, a hydrologic model is developed that is capable of effectively describing the rainfall-runoff relationship of extreme thunderstorms in arid and semi-arid regions. The model was calibrated and validated using data from ten storms at the semi-arid Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. A methodology is also proposed for reducing the amount of raingages required to provide acceptable inputs to the hydrologic model, and also determining the most appropriate placement location for these gages.



    Results show that the model is capable of reproducing peak discharges, peak timings, and total volumes to within 22.1%, 12 min, and 32.8%, respectively. Results of the gage reduction procedure show that a decrease in the amount of raingages used to drive the model results in a disproportionally smaller decrease in model accuracy. Results also indicate that choosing gages using the minimization of correlation approach that is described herein will lead to an increase in model accuracy as opposed to selecting gages on a random basis.

publication date

  • December 2012