Articles | Volume 35
25 Jun 2013
 | 25 Jun 2013

Construction of intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves for precipitation with annual maxima data in Rwanda, Central Africa

G. R. Demarée and H. Van de Vyver

Abstract. Detailed probabilistic information on the intensity of precipitation in Central Africa is highly needed in order to cope with the risk analysis of natural hazards. In the mountainous areas of Rwanda land slides frequently occur and might cause a heavy toll in human lives. The establishment of Intensity-Duration-Frequency curves for precipitation in Central Africa remains a difficult task as adequate long-term data sets for short aggregation times are usually not available.

In 1962 recording raingauges were installed at several stations in Rwanda. According to the climatological procedures in use at that time in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, maximum monthly and annual precipitation depths for fixed-time durations of 15, 30, 45, 60 and 120 min were determined from the rainfall charts. The data set is completed by the monthly and annual daily precipitation extremes from the non-recording raingauge at the stations.

The authors used the dataset to establish the IDF-curves for precipitation at 3 stations in Rwanda having more than 20 yr of operation. The fixed-hour intervals of multiple 15 min require the use of a technique converting data from fixed-time intervals into data of arbitrary starting intervals. Therefore, the van Montfort technique was used.