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The rainfall intensity-frequency relationship is one of the most commonly used tools in Water
Resources Engineering, either for planning, designing and operation of water resources projects,
or for various engineering projects against floods.

It is therefore, important in the determination of rainfall intensity for any desired period as a
guide in the design of water related structures

This can be achieved by rainfall intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) relationship, which is
determined through rainfall frequency analysis.

Our objective of this research is to

Find most appropriate probability distribution for annual maximum rainfall for different
duration. (1H, 2H, 4H, 6H, 12H and 24H).

Then using this distribution to determine the maximum intensity of rainfall for a corresponding
From this to develop the intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curve for Colombo region.


The maximum annual rainfall values for periods of 1, 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours were extracted
from a data set of
11 years of precipitation data at 15 minute intervals which was obtained from the pluviograph
charts recorded at the Colombo Meteorological Station.

Model Assessment

The method was goodness-of-fit test approach, here we used three GOF test statistics and
criterion namely, AIC, Anderson darling test and BIC. The idea behind the GOF test is to
measure the distance between the data and the distribution that you are testing, and if you want
you can compare that distance to some threshold value. If the distance is less than the threshold
value the fit is considered good.

Here we selected the most appropriate distribution for a particular duration the distribution which
produced the minimum error.

Now we know the best fitted probability distribution at different level.

Then our opportunity is to find the frequency factor at different duration level.

Firstly, we will see how we can estimate frequency factor for Gumbel Distribution.


For the Log person type III distribution frequency factor can be calculated by this way

In order to estimate the frequency factor of the Log person type III distribution

First we need to estimate the w value using this equation. Where p is the probability of

In addition to this, the normal variates Z can be determined using this equation.

We need another one more value is K is given by the Skewnees is divide by 6

The Skewness (Cs) of the logarithmic data series of annual maximum precipitation for 11 years

Now the frequency factor Kt is given by following this equation.

The most import fact is if Skewness is equal to zero the frequency factor is equal to normal


Now we know the frequency factor for particular return period.

Then we have to estimate return level of the corresponding period, which we can estimate using
the following equation.
Xt = mean + the frequency factor * by the standard deviation.

Now the rainfall intensity can be calculated the dividing return level by duration.

Now we move to the result and discussion part.


This figure illustrates the comparable performance of Log pearson type III distribution and
Gumbel distribution for each durations. According to this diagram, it is clearly evident that both
distribution are fitted well.

However, the GOF test results indicate the most suitable model for each duration.

For instance, if we consider the 1 hr duration of maximum precipitation all three GOF criterion
are less compared with Gumbel distribution. Therefore, LP3 distribution is the most appropriate
distribution for this period.

Now we move to the Frequency factor estimation.

These are estimated frequency factor values for each return period.

For instance if you take this value

Now we see this value

Now we will see the return level estimation

This table indicates the return level at different durations in different return period.

For instance, if you take this column, these data values are consistent with Log pearson type III
distribution. The return level can be estimated by this equation.

Now we consider the 20 year return period value

X20 = the mean of that duration level that is 26.1136 plus the frequency factor 1.938 multiply by
standard deviation.

Then the 12 hour duration peak annual precipitation closely followed by Gumbel distribution.
Now we consider the 10 year return period value.
Which we can estimate in this way.

In your right hand side the diagram illustrates the variation of rainfall depth at different durations
and return period.

Especially, 24 hours period duration reflects the largest variation compared to other five periods.

Now we know the return level, then we have to find the rainfall intensity of each duration and
return periods.

For example, now we consider the value at 10 year return period at 2 hour durations is equal to
The intensity of that level can be calculated by this way.

How can we calculate this value?
Dividing this value by 24.

Now we have rainfall intensity of each duration and return periods.

Then we can construct the Intensity duration frequency curve in this way by plotting the rainfall
intensity against the corresponding durations for different return periods.

This is the rainfall intensity-duration-frequency curve for Colombo region.

For example, if you consider the 12 hour period extreme precipitation in 10 year return period
the rainfall intensity is 14 mm/hr.

These are prognosticated value, if the T year return periods event occur within N years, Actually,
we are not guaranteed these values.

For example, we will consider this 50 year return period event.

50 year return period event has 64% chances to occur within 50 years
We will see another one 50 year return period event has 18% chances to happen within 10


The rainfall patterns in the City of Colombo will most certainly change in future due to climate

That mean we have to change the current municipal water management infrastructure is
designed, operated, and maintained.


The another way to determine the best fit distribution is to measure distance and

Find a suitable probability distribution is fitted to the each selected duration data series

2 hour annual peak precipitation follow the EV1 distribution

Consider the annual maximum precipitation for 11 years period.

The logarithmic data series is first obtained

= -0.2

The maximum rainfall intensity of any storm over any return period for Colombo can be
obtained from the IDF curve.

The rainfall patterns in the City of Colombo will most certainly change in future due to climate

Use of a probability based intensity-duration-frequency curve is encouraged in order to apply the
updated IDF information with higher level of confidence.

Lines on the IDF Curve graph represent probability or return period (level) extreme rainfall

The 50-year line represents rainfall events that historically had a probability of occurring once
every 50 years or The probability of a 50-year magnitude storm rainfall occurring or being
exceeded in any given year is 1/50 or 2% per year Likewise, the probability of a 10-year storm
occurring, on average, is 1/10 or 10% per year

The intensity duration frequency (IDF) relationship of heavy storms is one of the most important
hydrologic tools utilized by water resource engineers for planning, designing and operation of
water resources projects.
Local IDF equations are estimated on the basis of rainfall intensities abstracted from the rainfall
depths of different durations observed at rainfall gauging station. In