Schematizing Rainfall Events with Multivariate Depth-Duration Dependence

Guus Rongen, Ben Throssell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Accurately modelling rainfall events is crucial for flood risk assessment and stormwater infrastructure design. However, transforming statistical characteristics of events into relevant rainfall patterns is challenging due to the natural variability of rainfall. Two commonly used methods to schematize rainfall events have limitations: the nested storm profile overestimates the resulting flow by assuming complete dependence between different durations, while determining the critical event duration by simulating each duration separately assumes independence and underestimates the flow. To overcome these limitations, this study presents a method that models the dependence between different rainfall durations using a Gaussian copula and combines this with marginal rain statistics to create a probabilistic model for the rain event. The SCS Curve Number approach is used to model the resulting flow, and a first-order reliability method (FORM) is applied to determine the critical combination of durations within an event. The findings of this study show that the rainfall events generated using the proposed method result in comparable flows to those produced by conventional design events. While this may not make the model a preferred choice for standard applications, it can still be valuable for flood risk assessments as it provides a probabilistic model that better captures critical rainfall patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference
EditorsMário P. Brito, Terje Aven, Piero Baraldi, Marko Čepin, Enrico Zio
PublisherResearch Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-18-8071-1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023): The Future od Safety in a Reconnected World - University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20237 Sept 2023


ConferenceThe 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
Abbreviated titleESREL 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Reliability analysis
  • Rainfall-runoff modelling
  • Multivariate dependence
  • Gaussian copula


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