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Figure 5. A hypothetical example to illustrate how urbanization may change the timing and magnitude of floods. Specifically, the peak discharge from a given precipitation event (blue bars) is higher and occurs earlier after urbanization. Often the total amount of runoff (which could be computed by integrating under each curve) is also higher after urbanization because there is less soil and vegetation to absorb precipitation.
Originally uploaded in Integrate:Teaching for Sustainability:InTeGrate Modules:Water Science and Society:Student Materials.

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Source: Image from the Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group, 1998.
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