Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) rainfall curves, for data series and climate projection in African cities

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Abstract

Changes in the hydrologic cycle due to increase in greenhouse gases cause variations in intensity, duration, and frequency of precipitation events. Quantifying the potential effects of climate change and adapting to them is one way to reduce urban vulnerability. Since rainfall characteristics are often used to design water structures, reviewing and updating rainfall characteristics (i.e., Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves) for future climate scenarios is necessary (Reg Environ Change 13(1 Supplement):25-33, 2013). The present study regards the evaluation of the IDF curves for three case studies: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Douala (Cameroon). Starting from daily rainfall observed data, to define the IDF curves and the extreme values in a smaller time window (10′, 30′, 1 h, 3 h, 6 h, 12 h), disaggregation techniques of the collected data have been used, in order to generate a synthetic sequence of rainfall, with statistical properties similar to the recorded data. Then, the rainfall pattern of the three test cities was analyzed and IDF curves were evaluated. In order to estimate the contingent influence of climate change on the IDF curves, the described procedure was applied to the climate (rainfall) simulations over the time period 2010-2050, provided by CMCC (Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici). The evaluation of the IDF curves allowed to frame the rainfall evolution of the three case studies, considering initially only historical data, then taking into account the climate projections, in order to verify the changes in rainfall patterns. The same set of data and projections was also used for evaluating the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP). © 2014 De Paola et al.

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de Paola, F., Giugni, M., Topa, M. E., & Bucchignani, E. (2014). Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) rainfall curves, for data series and climate projection in African cities. SpringerPlus, 3(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-3-133

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