Estimation of Storm-Centred Areal Reduction Factors from Radar Rainfall for Design in Urban Hydrology

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In the design practice of urban hydrological systems, e.g., storm-water drainage systems, design rainfall is typically assumed spatially homogeneous over a given catchment. For catchments larger than approximately 10 km2, this leads to significant overestimation of the design rainfall intensities, and thus potentially oversizing of urban drainage systems. By extending methods from rural hydrology to urban hydrology, this paper proposes the introduction of areal reduction factors in urban drainage design focusing on temporal and spatial scales relevant for urban hydrological applications (1 min to 1 day and 0.1 to 100 km2). Storm-centred areal reduction factors are developed based on a 15-year radar rainfall dataset from Denmark. From the individual storms, a generic relationship of the areal reduction factor as a function of rainfall duration and area is derived. This relationship can be directly implemented in design with intensity–duration–frequency curves or design storms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1120
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Rainfall Analysis and Flood Management.


  • Areal reduction factor
  • Areal rainfall
  • Design storms
  • Urban drainage


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