Articles | Volume 24, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 2655–2670, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-2655-2020

Special issue: History of hydrology (HESS/HGSS inter-journal SI)

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 2655–2670, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-2655-2020

Review article 25 May 2020

Review article | 25 May 2020

A history of the concept of time of concentration

Keith J. Beven

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Cited articles

Almeida, I. K., Almeida, A. K., Anache, J. A. A., Steffen, J. L., and Sobrinho, T. A.: Estimation on time of concentration of overland flow in watersheds: a review, Geociências, 33, 661–671, 2014. 
Aron, G., Ball, J. E., and Smith, T. A.: Fractal concept used in time-of-concentration estimates, J. Irrig. Drain. Eng., 117, 635–641, 1991. 
Bedient, P. B. and Huber, W. C.: Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1988. 
Ben-Zvi, A.: The velocity assumption behind linear invariable watershed response models, in: Mathematical Models in Hydrology, 2, IAHS Publication No. 101, IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK, 758–761, 1974. 
Berghuijs, W. R. and Allen, S. T.: Waters flowing out of systems are younger than the waters stored in those same systems, Hydrol. Process., 33, 3251–3254, 2019. 
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Short summary
The concept of time of concentration in the analysis of catchment responses dates back over 150 years. It is normally discussed in terms of the velocity of flow of a water particle from the furthest part of a catchment to the outlet. This is also the basis for the definition in the International Glossary of Hydrology, but this is in conflict with the way in which it is commonly used. This paper provides a clarification of the concept and its correct useage.