Rainfall/Evaporation Boundary
    • 15 Aug 2022
    • 7 Minutes to read
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    Rainfall/Evaporation Boundary

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    Article summary


    Field in Data Entry Field


    Name in Datafile

    Node Label

    Node label at boundary

    Label 1

    IncludeThis Data

    Flag signifying if rainfall data (rain), evaporation data (evap) or infiltration (infi) is to be specified


    Number of Data Pairs

    Number of ensuing depth and time data pairs for nth dataset


    Time Datum Adjustment

    Optional time-datum adjustment


    Units of Time

    Optional keyword or value for units of time in the following dataset. Can be any numerical multiplier or one of the following: seconds (the default), minutes, hours, days, weeks, fortnight, lunar (month), months (of 30 days), quarter, years, decades. Alternatively 'date' signifies a date type format


    Data Extending Method

    Policy for extending data if the run finishes after the end of the boundary data. Options are: REPEAT, EXTEND or NOEXTEND


    Data Interpolation

    SPLINE if a cubic spline is to be fitted to the data, LINEAR to use linear interpolation or BAR to denote rainfall type histogram. (If the field is blank then linear interpolation is used, however for rainfall the overriding default is BAR)


    Flow Multiplier

    Flow multiplier. User input multiplier for resultant flow. Default is 1


    Intensity Time Units

    Keyword signifying time unit (cf  tm) to determine rainfall intensity time base. Default is hours, i.e. mm/hr. May also be a number denoting number of seconds in the intensity time


    Data Specification

    'DEPTH' or 'INTENSITY' flag to determine whether data is specified as a depth or intensity (default)


    Rainfall/ Evaporation/ Infiltration

    Intensity  (mm/unit tm) or depth (mm) of rainfall (or evaporation or infiltration) corresponding to time(n,i). In the case of BAR format data, this corresponds to the time period UP TO time(n,i) (i.e. time(n,i-1) - time(n,i))



    time (in units of tm - default of seconds, or in form of mm:hh for DATE time units) at ith dataset for nth data type



    As time, but date in format dd/mm/yyyy (DATE time units only)


    Theory and Guidance

    The rainfall evaporation boundary unit (REBDY) provides a rainfall and/or evaporation boundary inflow into a model network. This is of particular interest where direct rainfall or evaporation forms a significant proportion of the water volume entering a system. There may be up to three consecutive tables of data, representing rainfall, evaporation/evapotranspiration and/or infiltration. There is the opportunity to use actual dates or standard time series (as in the QT-type boundaries) with the rainfall data and flow averaging will be done within the REBDY unit so values can be used directly in mass equations.

    The REBDY unit always operates in conjunction with either a lateral inflow unit, or a lateral inflow node of a RIVER or RESERVOIR unit, to create an inflow into one or more units with a magnitude based on the water surface area of the receiving unit. A REBDY unit must either be connected to exactly one lateral inflow unit or to any number of lateral inflow nodes of a RESERVOIR or RIVER unit. This can then divide the resultant inflow across the network accordingly. The lateral inflow unit must have its distribution method set to AREA for the REBDY unit to apply correctly.

    The REBDY unit can hold combinations of rainfall data, evapo[transpi]ration data and infiltration data. These are input via individual tabs on the REBDY form within the Flood Modeller interface. It is therefore, for example, possible to store rainfall data with a different time interval from corresponding evaporation data. If both rainfall and evaporation are present then the REBDY unit will combine these into an effective rainfall figure during the computational phase of the model, i.e. (rainfall - evaporation). Similarly infiltration will be treated as a negative value in the calculation of an effective inflow.

    The corresponding time data for rainfall and evaporation data can be in any of the formats already available for QT-type boundaries, i.e. seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, etc. In addition, any of the available time units may be specified in a date format. The date format within the data form must be of the form dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm. It is recommended that the user choose the Select ('...') button within the data grid to bring up the following dialogue which ensures the correct formatting.


    The typical method of specifying rainfall and evaporation data is as a depth intensity (Data format = INTENSITY) with units of depth per unit time, which can be considered as flow per unit surface area. The REBDY is designed by default to expect this form of unit, however, a variety of intensities are available, e.g. mm/15 minute, mm/hr, mm/day, etc. or even a user specified intensity time interval (in seconds). These may be specified by altering the Intensity Time Units field. An aggregated rainfall depth over the preceding data interval may alternatively be supplied (Data Format=DEPTH), in which case an intensity is obtained by dividing the depth by the preceding time interval. In order to convert the intensity value to an equivalent inflow over a model time step the REBDY unit calculates the average value over the time step and this is then multiplied by the receiving surface area in the lateral inflow unit to obtain an inflow.


    To explain how the averaging of date format rainfall data will be done; consider a typical rainfall distribution, as shown below. The rainfall time interval is different from the model time step, dt. As the shaded area shows there are two different rainfall rates occurring over the second model time step. The total depth of rain falling during the time step is equivalent to the shaded area, V. Dividing this value by the model time step, dt, gives the average rainfall rate per unit time, with units ms-1. Finally, multiplying this value by the surface area receiving the rainfall will produce an equivalent inflow. This is therefore dependent on the dimensions of the receiving river or reservoir unit.

    The REBDY data can have irregular increments between data points in a series as the unit will always calculate the time between data points. For bar chart format data, as shown below, for any model time preceding that of the first data item, the first data value is assumed to apply up until this time. NB Bar chart format is forced if data is specified as a DEPTH (as opposed to an INTENSITY). In addition, a repeating or extended series can be specified, which may be useful for example when specifying an annual or daily evaporation pattern (see Notes).



    1. A rainfall, etc. value corresponds to the intensity or depth that occurred during the data interval prior to its corresponding time. If the model start time is before that of the first data item, this value is assumed to occur up to the latter time.
    2. Since the first value in the data series applies up to and including (but not after) its corresponding time, using the REPEAT methodology will effectively repeat the data from the second data value (i.e. that applies between the first and second specified times). It may therefore be advisable to insert a dummy item at t=0.
    3. Using REPEAT will never repeat REBDY data 'backwards' in time - the first data item will always be extended backwards in such cases.
    4. Any Hydrological boundary (e.q. ReFHBDY, GERRBDY, FEHBDY, -etc) may be treated as an REBDY by selecting the 'Hyetograph' option on the Options tab within its unit form. This will then apply the generated hyetograph to act as a direct Rainfall boundary.
    5. If DATES are entered as time units, then the model run times (either the Start Time or Time Zero) must be specified as a Date and Time.
    6. If an REBDY unit is attached (via a lateral inflow unit) to a reservoir, there must be at least one regular inflow/outflow node (i.e. non-lateral inflow) also attached to the reservoir. If none is naturally attached, then a dummy node (e.g. a QTBDY inflow with zero flow, or a weir with an unfeasibly high crest) must be attached.


    The following errors may be generated:





    Version number is not supported in this version of Flood Modeller

    The unit was generated using a more recent version of Flood Modeller. Contact your supplier for an upgrade


    Node connecting to receiving unit not recognised as lateral inflow

    REBDY must be directly connected to a lateral inflow unit


    Error reading data

    General data file read error


    No input data types recognised

    Data type must be rainfall (RAIN), evaporation (EVAP) or infiltration (INFI)


    Unrecognised time factor keyword

    Time keyword is not one of: second, hour, day, week, month, year or date


    No data in REBDY at line ...

    Gap in date file time series rainfall data


    Two data points with same time

    Time step used to calculate intensity; therefore zero time step will lead to 'divide by zero error'

    Datafile Format

    Line 1 - keyword "REBDY", version number "#REVISION#2" , [comment]

    Line 2 - Label 1

    Line 3 - rtype(1), ... rtype(ntyp)

    The following block is repeated for n = 1 to ntyp, where ntyp is the number of types of specified data (maximum 3)

    Line 4 - ndat(n) [tlag(n)] [z(n)] [tm(n)] [repeat(n)] [smooth(n)] [qmult(n)]

    Line 5 - Intenstr(n), diflag(n)

    Line 6 to 5+ndat(n) - depth(n,i), time(n,i)[, timed(n,i)]

    Data File example


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