A numerical simulation model has been developed to simulate the hydraulic and heat
transfer properties of a stormwater detention pond. The model is dynamic (unsteady) and
based on basic principles of hydraulics and heat transfer. It is driven by hourly climate
and weather data. To calibrate and validate the pond model field data were collected on a
commercial site (State Farm Insurance Company) in Woodbury, Minnesota. The
relationship between pond inflow and outflow rates to precipitation was effectively
calibrated using continuously recorded pond level. Algorithms developed for surface
heat transfer in lakes were found to be applicable to the pond with some modification.
A significant diurnal thermal stratification was simulated and measured in the pond
which had 2.4m depth. Temperature differences from top to bottom were as high as 13oC
during daytime hours. The outflowing water temperature was essentially equal to the
pond surface temperature because the outlet was located near the pond surface. Outflow
water temperatures were calculated with a RMSE of 1.4oC. Water clarity had little effect
on the pond outflow temperatures but the pond bottom temperature was found to be
highly sensitive to water clarity. For pond designs with outlet structures that take
subsurface water, water clarity will introduce uncertainty to simulations of the pond
temperature profile and the pond outlet temperature.
Further work is required to consider other pond designs with alternate outlet structures,
significant shading, and wind sheltering. Surface shading should include consideration of
terrestrial vegetation (trees), emergent, submerged, and floating leaf aquatic vegetation,
Algae need to be included in the water clarity. Wet ponds with subsurface outlet
withdrawal and high surface shading from emergent or floating leaf plants may yield
significantly lower outlet temperatures than typical wet pond designs.
Herb, William R.; Weiss, Michael; Mohseni, Omid; Stefan, Heinz G..
Hydrothermal Simulation of a Stormwater Detention Pond or Infiltration Basin.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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