Investigating the Impact of Urbanisation on Rainfall-Runoff Models

  • James Fidal

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The introduction of urban land-cover changes the hydrological characteristics
of catchments. So there is a need to develop new methods to account for this
change in land-use. Whilst a large number of hydrological models exist, each are
designed for different purposes. However numerous sources of literature highlights the shortcomings of urban rainfall-runoff models. The aim of this thesis is to create a generic framework for modelling the impact of urbanisation on catchment runoff using lumped conceptual rainfall-runoff models.
A number of urban runoff generation frameworks are designed and tested
within this thesis. The best performing framework uses a newly developed scaling term which can account for the variability of infiltration in urban areas, when combined with an urban routing framework produces the URMOD model.
The URMOD model is extensively tested on multiple urban catchments using
both daily and sub-daily data. The model performance was gauged using
the model comparison tools developed within this thesis, a jackknife calibration/
validation method, paired Z-test and a binomial hypothesis test. The comparisons took place on a number of catchments in the Thames catchment and the Gyeongan-Cheon catchment. Whilst some performance issues are raised for URMOD, results show that URMOD was able to better represent the urban effects on catchments than a rural model and an existing semi-distributed model when using daily and sub-daily data.
Date of Award29 May 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJun Zang (Supervisor) & Thomas Kjeldsen (Supervisor)

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