International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 346

Full Length Research Paper

Intensity duration frequency relationship of maximum rainfall in a data scarce urbanized environment: A case study of the Guma Catchment in Sierra Leone

Amadu Barrie
  • Amadu Barrie
  • Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Mount Aureol, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • Google Scholar
Melvin B. D. Scott
  • Melvin B. D. Scott
  • Sierra Leone Roads Authority, P. M. B. 1324, Kissy, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 19 June 2020
  •  Accepted: 04 February 2021
  •  Published: 30 April 2021


Rainfall intensity for a particular frequency and duration is one of the most important parameter for the hydrologic design of dam, reservoirs, storm sewers, culverts and many other hydraulic structures. This can be obtained from Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) relationship, which is determined by frequency analysis of rainfall data. The goal of this research is to develop rainfall intensity-duration frequency relationship for the data scarce urbanized Guma catchment in Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone using the Gumbel and Pearson Type III distributions.  To achieve this goal, daily rainfall data for the period of 1991 to 2018 for the Guma catchment rainfall station was obtained from the Guma Valley Water Company and were converted to shorter duration (hourly) using the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) method. Twenty-eight maximum daily rainfall events were converted to hourly rainfall events. Frequency analysis was conducted to develop the rainfall intensity-duration-frequency relationships using the Gumbel and Pearson Type III distributions. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) goodness of fit test was utilized to determine which of the distributions have a better fit at 5 and 10% significant levels. The frequency analysis results show that the Gumbel distribution gives higher intensity for all return periods and durations than the Pearson Type III distribution. The result of the K-S goodness of fit test shows that all of the data fit the Gumbel distribution for different return periods (2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 years) at the level of significance of  which yield  and which yield  while the data do not give good fit using the Pearson Type III distribution at both levels of significance for the different return periods.

Key words: Rainfall, Intensity-duration-frequency relationships, probability distributions, goodness of fit test.