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Development of Design Storms


Problem Statement

Flash flooding is a hazard in many parts of the world. In south Louisiana, the terrain is particularly flat with minimal natural slope to support efficient drainage. Flash flooding is common in urban areas where runoff from rainfall quickly accumulates in coulees and cannot drain fast enough. A flash flood is a sudden and rapid rise in stream water depth resulting from heavy, localized rainfall. With a growing population, developing neighborhoods in terrain susceptible to flash floods has become more common and therefore increased the potential for damage to private property and public infrastructure.

Hydrologists are frequently required to design flood protection infrastructure to protect people and property from the impacts of flash flooding. This module is based on a case study of a flood protection project at the mouth of Beau Bassin located near Carencro, Louisiana.

Module Overview

In this module you will use the engineering design process to design a detention basin for use in protecting an area of urban development from flooding. In doing so, you will learn about specific topics in hydrology.

Topics Covered

Precipitation Statistics, Hyetographs and Design Storms


This module is one of three spin-offs from the "Hydrologic Design of a Storm Detention Basin: Beau Bassin Watershed, LA (HL402-2)" module. While each of the following mini-modules have been created as a stand-alone learning experience, we recommend implementing these modules in the following order for a comprehensive coverage of these topics:

1) Development of Design Storms (HL414)

2) Quantifying Runoff Generation (HL413)

3) Developing Storm Inflow and Outflow Hydrographs (HL415)

Learning Objectives

At the end of this case study, you should be able to describe and implement the steps involved in: developing a design storm hyetograph

This will be accomplished through activities within each section. Results from each activity will be recorded in specified results templates. The results templates for each activity can be found at the beginning of each activity. The results templates are organized such that results from one activity can easily be used in successive activities.

Course Authors

Emad Habib, PhD, PE

University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Contact:

Target Audience

Junior/Senior Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Courses

Tools Needed

Computer with access to Internet and Excel

Expected Total Hours

A student could expect to complete this module with approximately 6 work hours.