A study of storm losses using a laboratory catchment under computer-controlled simulated rainfall
Jacob, R. P.
PublisherUniversity of Salford
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The improvement and further development of a laboratory catchment and rainfall simulator is described. The rainfall simulator enabled the reproduction of rainfall of any intensity between 0 and 120mm/hr, with properties similar to those of natural rainfall. The rainfall simulator was subsequently linked to a process control computer, which could control the apparatus to produce either a single or a series of rainstorms. Storms with uniform or varying rainfall intensities could be simulated, with the resulting runoff and percolation being measured and then-recorded by the computer. A description is given of the hardware and computer programmes which were developed to operate the equipment. An experimental programme was conducted on the apparatus to examine the relationships between intensity, runoff and infiltration, and other hydrological properties of a catchment. Particular attention was given to a soil's infiltration capacity, which was found to vary with rainfall intensity. This led to the derivation of an infiltration equation in which rainfall intensity is a variable. A study of the rate of recovery of a soil's infiltration capacity enabled an empirical formula to be established which enables a soil's infiltration capacity to be determined at a time after rainfall has ceased.