Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Thomas P Ballestero

Second Advisor

Ernst Linder

Third Advisor

Alison Watts


Currently, one of the fastest growing fields in infrastructure is stormwater. Stormwater systems are the first line of defense in protecting cities from flooding and overburdening wastewater treatment facilities. Since stormwater infrastructure will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, any reduction in construction requirements may result in a considerable reduction in spending. The most immediate way to reduce construction costs would be to reduce the size of the system itself.The focus of this thesis will be infiltration characteristics of stormwater systems, using the ongoing research of parking lot A at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. The research consists of calculating the infiltration rates of a subsurface stormwater gravel trench. It is believed that the system experiences higher than expected infiltration rates due to an unusually high rate of lateral flow, characterized by the soil’s anisotropy. This research discusses how anisotropy can potentially be obtained in situ, how this can be used when modelling the system’s hydraulic performance, and how this relates to reducing stormwater system sizes. This paper theorizes that sudden changes in performance in a gravel trench can be used to distinguish soil horizon elevations, and estimate lateral infiltration rates using splicing techniques such as EARTH and linear modelling. With those practices, the Lot-A gravel trench is believed to have lateral infiltration rates spanning 0.150 inches per hour at the bottom of the trench to 124 inches per hour at the top of the trench, depending on the soil layer. The models produced were also able to reproduce the water height data of the trench system using only rain gauge data, with an R2 value of 0.793, and an RMSE of 0.115 feet.

Appendices.pdf (20506 kB)