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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The quantification of upland runoff for subsurface drainage design Runesson, Deborah


Accurate upland runoff and peak flow estimates are crucial for successful subsurface drainage design in adjacent lowland agricultural regions. Three techniques used in drainage design, namely the SCS Curve Number approach for runoff estimation, and the SCS unit hydrograph procedure and the Rational formula for peak flow estimation were evaluated. A small upland research watershed was established at Agriculture Canada's Agassiz Research Station, Farm #2, in the eastern end of the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The use of digital elevation models to assist in watershed analysis was reviewed through the development of a model for the Research watershed. Findings showed that the SCS Curve Number approach underestimated runoff. The Rational formula provided the best estimates of peak flow. The use of a digital elevation model provided required parameters for the various methods tested, and showed high potential for further use in watershed quantification.

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