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Article

A Rainfall Intensity Data Rescue Initiative for Central Chile Utilizing a Pluviograph Strip Charts Reader (PSCR)

1
Technological Center for Environmental Hydrology, University of Talca, Talca 3460000, Chile
2
Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
3
Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
4
School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, College Rd, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(7), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071887
Received: 3 June 2020 / Revised: 28 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
To develop intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves, it is necessary to calculate annual maximum rainfall intensities for different durations. Traditionally, these intensities have been calculated from the analysis of traces recorded by rain gauges on pluviograph strip charts (PSCs). For many years, these charts have been recorded and analyzed by the personnel who operate and maintain the pluviograph gauges, thus the reliability of the observational analysis depends exclusively on the professional experience of the person performing the analysis. Traditionally, the analyzed PSCs are physically stored in data repository centers. After storing rainfall data on aging paper for many years, the risk of losing rainfall records is very high. Therefore, the conversion of PSC records to digital format is crucial to preserve and improve the historical instrumental data base of these records. We conducted the first “Data Rescue Initiative” (DRI) for central Chile using a pluviograph strip charts reader (PSCR), a tool that uses a scanner-type device combined with digital image processing techniques to estimate maximum rainfall intensities for different durations for each paper band (>80,000 paper bands). On the paper bands, common irregularities associated with excess ink, annotations, or blemishes can affect the scanning process; this system was designed with a semi-automatic module that allows users to edit the detected trace to improve the recognition of the data from each PSC. The PSCR’s semi-automatic characteristics were designed to read many PSCs in a short period of time. The tool also allows for the calculation of rainfall intensities in durations ranging between 15 min to 1 h. This capability improves the value of the data for water infrastructure design, since intense storms of shorter duration often have greater impacts than longer but less intense storms. In this study, the validation of the PSCR against records obtained from observational analysis showed no significant differences between maximum rainfall intensities for durations of 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h. View Full-Text
Keywords: data rescue initiative; pluviograph strip charts; rainfall intensity; rainfall trace reading; IDF curves data rescue initiative; pluviograph strip charts; rainfall intensity; rainfall trace reading; IDF curves
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pizarro-Tapia, R.; González-Leiva, F.; Valdés-Pineda, R.; Ingram, B.; Sangüesa, C.; Vallejos, C. A Rainfall Intensity Data Rescue Initiative for Central Chile Utilizing a Pluviograph Strip Charts Reader (PSCR). Water 2020, 12, 1887. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071887

AMA Style

Pizarro-Tapia R, González-Leiva F, Valdés-Pineda R, Ingram B, Sangüesa C, Vallejos C. A Rainfall Intensity Data Rescue Initiative for Central Chile Utilizing a Pluviograph Strip Charts Reader (PSCR). Water. 2020; 12(7):1887. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071887

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pizarro-Tapia, Roberto; González-Leiva, Fernando; Valdés-Pineda, Rodrigo; Ingram, Ben; Sangüesa, Claudia; Vallejos, Carlos. 2020. "A Rainfall Intensity Data Rescue Initiative for Central Chile Utilizing a Pluviograph Strip Charts Reader (PSCR)" Water 12, no. 7: 1887. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071887

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