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WinTR-20

Calibration
Procedures

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Lesson Objectives
1.

2.

3.

Determine the most appropriate level of


WinTR-20 calibration effort warranted
based on the scope of the project and
available data.
Perform a non-complicated fully
comprehensive (both peak rate and
volume of runoff based) calibration
using the Win-TR20 computer program.
Identify when a particular data set
contains some data that cannot
reasonably be calibrated to.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Why calibrate Win-TR20?


Initial

estimates of input parameters (RCN,


tc, Unit Peak Factor, etc) can be in error.

If

project damage/benefit measurements


are sensitive and climate/stream gage data
exists then results may warrant
calibration.

Calibrate

to historical/known events, then


run calibrated model with design criteria
storms.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Should you calibrate WinTR-20 for


a:
Grassed

waterway?
378 farm pond?
PL-566 urban channel?
Floodplain management study?
Think of the need, gain, and effort involved
as well as the quality of data available.
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Calibration Basics
The

extent of calibration effort depends

on:
The purpose that the hydrologic model serves.
The amount and quality of data available for
comparison purposes.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Simple Calibration

Involves matching Win-TR20 peaks to peak flow


frequency curves of available crest stage data at
a selected site.
Volumetric calibration not possible since only
peak data exists.
Can be done with states recurrence flow
regression equations, generally available through
USGS (US Geological Survey).
Not optimal but sometimes its all you have.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Simple Calibration (Continued)


related lesson on Win-TR20
sensitivity.
The following parameters show increased
sensitivity for peak flow calibration:
Time of Concentration
Unit Peak Factor
Runoff Curve Number
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Increasing
Sensitivity

See

Typical WinTR-20 Calibration


Procedure (with rain & stream flow
data)
Basic Concepts Use

identifiable storms/runoff data.

Calibrate

storm).

volumes first, then verify (on 2nd

Calibrate

peaks after volumes are


calibrated then verify peak modeling (on
2nd storm).

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Typical WinTR-20 Calibration


Procedure
Assumes the following adequate data is available:
stream gage
rainfall amount and distribution
flood history
Major historical storms may not be desirable if
recorded stream gage data is estimated and
watershed and hydraulic conditions have
changed. Pick storms in which the major runoff
can easily be distinguished from the baseflow.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
Pick the right storms to calibrate/verify with:
Select at least 2 calibration storms with
the following characteristics:
a) Storms large enough to produce flooding.
b) Storms with essentially uniform rainfall
distribution over the entire watershed.
c) Storms of a nature whose hydrograph can be
easily distinguished from the stream gage
data (typically isolated thunderstorms).
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

10

Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
Calibration storm requirements continued:
d)

e)

Use recent storms if watershed conditions have


changed or if hydraulic storage or flow
characteristics have been altered (urban
developments).
Pick storms that did not produce unusual
hydraulic conditions (e.g. dam breach,
obstruction developments, bypass of flows
around the gage site, etc.).

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
Calibration storm requirements continued:
f)

Calibration for a particular storm event will


entail the input of the specific rainfall
distribution into Win- TR20. This has significant
impacts in matching the predicted to actual
hydrograph shape.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
1.
2.

Estimate watershed hydrologic input


parameters (RCN, Tc).
Perform a hydrologic analysis (Win-TR20)
of the watershed using the above
parameters and a gaged historical
rainfall. See how the predicted volume of
runoff compares to the historical volume.
Historical storm hydrograph can be
plotted to determine volume.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

13

Typical WinTR-20 Calibration


Procedure
3. If runoff volumes are vastly different, then

look to the parameters that effect volume:


RCN- Was this selected properly?
RCN- What stage of growth was present
when historical storm occurred?
ARC- Was there a lot of rain prior to the
historical event or maybe was it
drier than normal (be aware of
how
ARC is assigned)?
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
3.

(continued) Input parameters that effect


volume:
Drainage Area- Was the whole area
contributing (diversions in or out,
sinkholes, karst areas, etc.)?
Rainfall- Is the historical rainfall
accurately portrayed throughout the
entire watershed?

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
4.

Correct any problematic input parameters


detected in Step 3. Re-run Win-TR20 to check
new volume of runoff compared to gaged
historical volume. Look to minor changes in
the RCN to achieve a closer match.

5.

Run steps 2-4 for a second historical event. Be


sure ARC is properly set. Compare predicted
volume of runoff to historic volume for this
storm.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
6.

Compare base RCNs (with ARC impacts


removed) for both calibrated storms. They
should be close or something is wrong
with another parameter in one or both of
the storm event models (re-examine steps
2-4). This is a verification step.

Note- Calibration problems can arise where it


is advised to disregard a particular storm
and evaluate another one with more
reproducible results.
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

17

Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
7.

With volumes matched it is now time to


calibrate the peak discharge. Compare
gaged historical peak with the predicted
peak for the first storm (with volumetric
calibrated and verified input parameters).
Make adjustments in Tc first if necessary
to calibrate peaks. If ineffective with Tc
then consider the Dimensionless Unit
Hydrograph.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
8.

If calibration is still ineffective then


consider adjustments to stream reach
routing parameters. This will likely involve
modifying HEC-RAS runs (n-values,
expansion/contraction coefficients, reach
and floodplain lengths etc). Somewhere in
this mix, a calibration should be achieved.

Note- With volumes matching and peaks being


tuned, be aware of the overall hydrograph
shape and if further adjustments are
needed.
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Win-TR20 Calibration


Procedure
9.

Run steps 6 and 7 for the second storm


and compare the Win-TR20 input
parameter selection between the two
storms to verify peak prediction features.

Note- Calibration problems can arise where it


is advised to disregard a particular storm
and evaluate another one with more
reproducible results. Baseflow adjustment
may be key.
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Typical Calibration Procedure


10.

The calibration process is now complete.


The calibrated Win-TR20 input
parameters offer the most reliable means
of modeling the watershed for planning
or design purposes.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Another Calibration Procedure

Comparison of actual high water marks from


known events with high water marks from WinTR20 and HECRAS models. The typical situation
is to have only high water marks and a feel for
total watershed rainfall that occurred (no actual
distribution).

Can prove difficult because of the many variables


involved between the 2 models. Relies heavily on
sound engineering judgment.

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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What about calibration conflicts?


They

do happen.
Review procedures, check for errors.
Review target data, look for outliers.
Use professional judgment.
If a particular storm event refuses to
calibrate comparably with others then
drop it for another. Unknowns may be the
cause.
Calibration will not typically yield perfect
results. Look for reasonable trends.
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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Isabel - 2003
WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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QUESTIONS???

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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The End

WinTR-20 Calibration
Procedures

February 2015

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