Screening of representative rainfall event series for long-term hydrological performance evaluation of grassed swales

Feikai Yang, Dafang Fu, Chris Zevenbergen, Floris C Boogaard, Rajendra Prasad Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evaluation of the hydrological performance of grassed swales usually needs long-term monitoring data. At present, suitable techniques for simulating the hydrological performance using limited monitoring data are not available. Therefore, current study aims to investigate the relationship between saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) fitting results and rainfall characteristics of various events series length. Data from a full-scale grassed swale (Enschede, the Netherlands) were utilized as long-term rainfall event series length (95 rainfall events) on the fitting outcomes. Short-term rainfall event series were extracted from these long-term series and used as input in fitting into a multivariate nonlinear model between Ks and its influencing rainfall indicators (antecedent dry days, temperature, rainfall, rainfall duration, total rainfall, and seasonal factor (spring, summer, autumn, and winter, herein refer as 1, 2, 3, and 4). Comparison of short-term and long-term rainfall event series fitting results allowed to obtain a representative short-term series that leads to similar results with those using long-term series. A cluster analysis was conducted based on the fitting results of the representative rainfall event series with their rainfall event characteristics using average values of influencing rainfall indicators. The seasonal index (average value of seasonal factors) was found to be the most representative short rainfall event series indicator. Furthermore, a Bayesian network was proposed in the current study to predict if a given short-term rainfall event series is representative. It was validated by a data series (58 rainfall events) from another full-scale grassed swale located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Results revealed that it is quite promising and useful to evaluate the representativeness of short-term rainfall event series used for long-term hydrological performance evaluation of grassed swales.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental science and pollution research international
Early online date23 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2024


  • hydrology
  • swales
  • soil
  • saturation
  • rainfall


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