The MINUHET (MINnesota Urban Heat Export Tool) model is a simulation tool used to
route heat and storm water through a sub-watershed for a rainfall event or events of
interest. The model includes components for developed land uses, undeveloped or
vegetated land uses, pervious and impervious open channels, storm sewer systems, and
storm water ponds. As a case study, the model has been applied to a 12.5 acre housing
development in Plymouth, MN. The process of identifying necessary data is outlined, as
well as a general strategy for organizing the input data and setting up the model for this
particular watershed. A catch basin at the outlet of the development was instrumented for
flow and temperature, and data were collected at the site from August 25, 2005 to
October 1, 2005. The model was run for three rainfall events, and a comparison was
made between observed and simulated flow rate and flow temperature at the development
outlet. Overall, the model performed well. The RMSE for flow was 42.0 L/s, 10.4 L/s,
and 14.3 L/s for the three events respectively, and the corresponding RMSE in storm
water runoff temperature was 1.6 °C, 1.2 °C, and 1.9 °C. Observed and simulated volumeaveraged
mean runoff temperature differed by less than 1.5 ºC for all three events. Total
volume of runoff was predicted with reasonable accuracy by the model, especially for the
first two events. Heat export, which is a measure of the heat content of the runoff above a
certain reference temperature (in this case 16.0 °C), was accurately predicted for the
second and third events. The model was found to be highly sensitive to saturated
hydraulic conductivity and rainfall temperature (dew point temperature): volume of
runoff from the pervious areas varied considerably with changes in hydraulic
conductivity, and runoff temperature often tended toward dew point temperature,
especially in the absence of large atmospheric or ground heat fluxes (e.g., late at night or
early in the morning). This suggests that special care should be taken in selection of soil
properties, and that all climate data should be collected as near to the study site as
possible to improve the accuracy of runoff temperature estimation.
Janke, Ben; Herb, William; Mohseni, Omid; Stefan, Heinz.
Application of a Runoff Temperature Model (MINUHET) to a Residential Development in Plymouth, MN.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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