Visualization of rainfall-runoff time series data

Tianfang Xu, Albert J. Valocchi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Initial Publication Date: July 22, 2016


In this step, students will perform basic time series plotting using tools of choice, such as Excel, MATLAB or R.

Conceptual Outcomes

Learn the concept of hydrograph
Learn the concept of time series

Practical Outcomes

Students will be able to visualize time series data using software of choice

Time Required

30 minutes

Computing/Data Inputs

Sample rainfall-runoff data (Matlab .MAT File 14kB Jul21 16)

Computing/Data Outputs

Below is a sample plot of daily precipitation and discharge over the period of 2005 to 2014.

Hardware/Software Required



Students are encouraged to zoom in to inspect individual storm event. Examine the rising and falling limbs of the hydrograph.

Additional Activities and Variants

Related Steps