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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329460

Title: Impact of altered land use on urban hydrology and strategic management practices on flooding problems

item Timlin, Dennis

Submitted to: Russian Meteorology and Hydrology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2016
Publication Date: 5/20/2018
Citation: Kang, K., Lee, J.H., Chun, J.A., Timlin, D.J. 2018. Impact of altered land use on urban hydrology and strategic management practices on flooding problems. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology. 43:197-202.

Interpretive Summary: Development and urbanization of agricultural and forested lands can result in increases in flooding incidences in the developed areas. It is necessary then to assess the status of current storm water systems to insure that the infrastructure can keep up with hydrologic changes in that area. We used models and weather data to determine peak runoff of precipitation to streams in the watershed and the area of the watershed contributing to flow. These models can be used in both agricultural and urban lands. The area of study was the Great Calumet Basin in Northwest Indiana near the city of Gary over the period of 1992 to 2001. The results showed that as urbanization progresses, peak flows of floods increase. Changes in precipitation variability and amounts over time due to climate change also contribute to higher peak floods and a greater incidence in flooding.

Technical Abstract: This paper describes the impact of altered land use on urban flooding in Northwest Indiana over a 10-year time span between 1992 and 2001. The studied watershed, Great Calumet Basin, is located on the south shore of Lake Michigan, which is well known as a highly industrialized area. The flood peaks and the time-to-peak values are used to analyze the flooding problems of the study area. The study uses a Hydrologic Engineering Center for Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model to explore the change in land use represented by Curve Number (CN). The model parameters are calibrated using archived rainfall data available in National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and United States Geological Survey (USGS) Instantaneous Data Archive (IDA). All four simulations show that simulated hydrographs in land cover 2001 is average 22% higher peak flow than those in land cover 1992. The paper concludes with the results of simulation analyses that can be used to remedy flooding problems in the study area.