This research involved an investigation into the influence of land use type and rainfall intensity on urban stormwater quality using rainfall simulation techniques. The experimental component of the study was undertaken in urban catchments located across the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Initially, a review of the physical characteristics of rainfall, and the different raindrop measurement techniques was undertaken to identify the parameters required to ensure reliable and robust raindrop and rainfall measurement. Early manual raindrop measurement techniques have evolved over time and now include photographic, and more recently, automated disdrometer and laser measurement techniques. The review revealed that while advances in technology have allowed many of the deficiencies of early techniques to be eliminated, challenges still remain in the precise measurement of the size, shape, and velocity of raindrops and rainfall. The different measurement techniques were compared adapted to inform the design and construction of the new, highly accurate and reliable rainfall simulator that was used in this study to investigate and evaluate urban pollution wash-off characteristics. The development of the rainfall simulator was a comprehensive and iterative process which involved more than one full year of intense research and development to fully optimise.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016.