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Plotting the storm hydrograph &
Define term of a Storm Hydrograph
Interpret the diagram
Importance of the storm Hydrograph
Factors affecting the storm Hydrograph
2 4
3 Basin lag time – the time difference
8 between the peak of the rain event
to the peak flow.

10 5 Peak flow – when the river reaches

the maximum capacity that it can
Peak rainfall 11 7 The rising limb – the rapid increase
of discharge resulting from a

9 The recession limb – when the

discharge starts to decrease and
1 12 river levels fall.

Rainfall (mm)
13 Base flow – the normal day to
day discharge of a river
Peak Flow Bankful discharge
when the river reaches the 6. It is the point when the level of water has
maximum capacity that it can hold.
reached the top of its channel and any further
increase in discharge will result in flooding.

Rising limb
Recession limb
4. Increase Discharge—surface
Run off (interception storage & infiltration 5. Discharge is decreasing and
rate exceeded & throughflow, steeper level of river falling. Less steep than
(water reaching stream faster) rising limb because throughflow still
Being released into channel.

Lagtime 7. River returned to its

baseflow unless there has
3. Time different between peak been another storm
Rainfall & peak discharge within the basin.

2. When storm Begins,

river response Baseflow
Negligible. Why?
8. Slow to respond to a storm but

Approach by continually releasing

segment water from the lower ground it

1. Discharge of the river maintains the river’s flow

Before a storm during low precipitation.
(Antecedent Flow)
 Graphs which shows how the river
discharge in a drainage basin responds
to a period of rain.

 predict flood risk
 for precaution to avoid damage to properties & loss of life.
Before flood:
•Create an emergency plan with a designated meeting place.
•Pack a 72-hour emergency survival kit
During flood:
•Shut off electrical, furnace, gas and water, and disconnect appliances if safe.
•Move to higher ground.
•Move valuables from the basement to upper floors.
•Stay calm & listen for evacuation from authorities.

•Clean up the areas affected by flood/home.
•Take pictures or video of the damage.
•Report the damage to your insurance provider and local municipality.
1. Characteristics of the drainage basin:
a) Size (Small vs Large)
b) Shape (Circular vs Elongated)
c) Rock types ( permeable vs impermeable)
d) Soil types (porous vs non-porous soil)

2. Temperature & rainfall (intensity & types)

3. Vegetation cover
4. Land use -urbanisation
 Small drainage basin-rainfall reaches river channel more rapidly, water travel
shorter distance and faster thus lag time is shorter.
 Large size drainage basin: Rainfall reaches the river channel more slowly, since it
has to travel a longer distance thus has longer lagtime.
 Circular Basin - It is more likely to have a shorter lagtime and a higher peak
 Elongated Basin – It is more likely to have a longer lag time and low peak
discharge flow.
(a) Permeable rock-rock that allow water to pass through them. Two types of
permeable rocks i.e. porous (sandstone and chalk) allow water to fill up the pores in
the rock.
 Higher infiltration, thus little surface runoff and limited streams (low drainage
 Pervious rock –limestones allow water to pass through its joints and bedding
planes. Longer lagtime and low peak discharge.
(b) Impermeable rock-rocks that do not allow water to pass through them such as
granite. Give less infiltration, thus produce more run-off and greater number of
streams. (high drainage density) –shorter lagtime and high peak discharge.
 Soil types –controls rate of infiltration, soil moisture storage and rate of throughflow.
 Sandy-with large pores, rapid infiltration and do not encourage flooding. (longer
lagtime and low peak discharge)
 Clays –less infiltration but encourage surface run-off thus increase risks of flooding.
Lagtime is shorter and high peak discharge)
 Temperature –higher temperature-hot and dry summer-rate of evapotranspiration
is higher, restrict infiltration and less water flow into the river.
 Temperature is lower (very cold winter) –rate of evapotranspiration is lower.
Restrict infiltration thus more water flow into the river when there is a lot of water.
 Temperature –higher temperature-hot and dry summer-rate of evapotranspiration
is higher, restrict infiltration and less water flow into the river.
 Temperature is lower (very cold winter) –rate of evapotranspiration is lower.
Restrict infiltration thus more water flow into the river when there is a lot of water.
 Prolonged rainfall -Long period of rainfall are a frequent case of flooding, This is
because ground become saturated and infiltration is reduced. Much water overflow
on the surface as surface runoff and cause rapid rises in the river discharge.
 Intense storms: convectional thunderstorms, rainfall intensity may be greater than
infiltration capacity of the soil (summer in Britain where ground may be harder).
Resulting large quantities of surface runoff and produce a rapid rise in river levels
(flash floods) or rapid rise in river discharge
 Snowfall:
 Heavy snowfall means water held in storage and river level drop. Rise in
temperature, meltwater soon reaches the river channel.
 If ground become frozen much of melted snow will flow into the river channel thus
increase in discharge thus this type of drainage basin has shorter lagtime and high
peak discharge.
 This might help to prevent flooding by intercepting rainfall (store moisture on its
leaves before evaporation back into atmosphere. (Tropical rainforest intercept
80% of rainfall, 30% may later evaporates whereas arable land intercept only
 -interception less in winter when the trees shed their leaves and crop harvested to
expose bare earth.

 Roots-reduce throughflow by taking up water from soil.
 Flooding likely to occur in deforested area, e.g. Bangladesh where trees remove in
Nepal and Himalayan areas.
 Urbanization increase flood risk. Water cannot infiltrate through tarmac and
concrete, and gutters and drains carry water more quickly to the nearest river.
 Small streams may be either canalized so with reduce friction water flows more
quickly thus only a limited amount of water to pass through at one time.
 Land use and human activity – deforestation, afforestation, urbanization and
agriculture all have major impacts on the storage capabilities of a drainage basin.

 Construction of dams and reservoirs strongly influences hydrograph.