Dawdy, Dave R

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David Russell Dawdy 1926 - 2020 (San Francisco)


Dave Dawdy was a distinguished hydrologist, with over 60 years of experience in research, teaching and consulting. He began his career at the USGS surface water branch in 1951, working with Luna Leopold and Walter Langbein.

After his retirement from the USGS he worked as Chief Hydrologist for Multech Engineering Consultants of San Jose, California, and the University of San Francisco

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

Dave Dawdy made fundamental contributions to many topics in hydrology, including flood frequency analysis, hydrologic modeling, worth of hydrologic data and data network design for various water resource inventory purposes as well as scientific hypothesis testing, characterizing resistance to flow in alluvial channels, mapping flood hazard zones on alluvial fans, and urban hydrologic modeling practice.

The author of over 100 papers in hydrology, he has received numerous honors, including the Ven Te Chow Award and the Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award from the ASCE, and the Ray K. Linsley Award from the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH), and was named a Fellow of the AGU in 1990. He has served on the AGU committees on surface water, sedimentation and the history of hydrology, and served for 12 years on the editorial board of the AGU Water Resources Monograph Series. He was instrumental in initiating the AGU History of Hydrology Interview series starting in 1995 (see AGU Virtual Hydrologists Project). David Dawdy received a MS in Statistics from Stanford University and a BA in History from Trinity University, and was on the faculty of the Civil Engineering Department at Colorado State University.


Keith Beven writes: It was always interesting to discuss hydrological processes and hydrological modelling with Dave. He gave me a real hard time after my very first talk at an international conference in Fort Collins when I was presenting the first application of Topmodel. He could not see how the topographic index (with all the manual analysis required in those pre-DTM times) could adequately represent the hydrology. (Incidentally, a generation later, he also gave a hard time to my post-doc Jim Freer at his first international conference - though that had more to do with the colour scheme of his powerpoint presentation!!). I sort of got my own back at the NATO Advance Workshop in Sintra in Portugal in 1989, where he gave a talk about driving round an engaged catchment, estimating the roughness of the surfaces, using a soil map to estimate hydraulic conductivities, and then getting good results from an infiltration excess model. To illustrate the importance of uncertainty in such an exercise I suggest taking a coach load of hydrological monkeys around the catchment, selected from the best graduate schools, and allowing them each to make estimates of roughness and conductivities. We could also take their professors around to mark those estimates and give them a weight of plausibility - and then run those all through the model. He gracefully accepted that this might result in more realistic bounds for the potential response - but also made the point that long experience in the field was really important.

Reference Material[edit]

Dave Dawdy AGU page can be found here. This has links to online versions of many of the paper and was based on material prepared by Leonard Sklar and Steve Burges

Selected Publications[edit]

Dawdy, D. R., and W. B. Langbein (1960), Mapping mean areal precipitation, International Association of Scientific Hydrology Bulletin, 5(3), 16-23, DOI:10.1080/02626666009493176

Dawdy, D. R. (1961), Variation of Flood Ratios with Size of Drainage Area, in Geological Survey Research 1961: U. S. G. S. Professional Paper 424-C, Article 160.

Dawdy, D. R. (1961), Depth-Discharge Relations in Alluvial Streams, U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1498-C. Langbein, W. B., and D. R. Dawdy (1964), Occurrence of Dissolved Solids in Surface Water in the United States, in Geol. Survey Research 1964: U. S.Geological Survey Prof. Paper 501-D.

Dawdy, D. R., and N. C. Matalas (1964), Statistical and Probability Analysis of Hydrologic Data, Part 3, Analysis of Variance, Covariance, and Time Series, Section8.3 in Handbook of Applied Hydrology: Ven Te Chow editor, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Culbertson, J. K., and D. R. Dawdy (1964), A Study of Fluvial Characteristics and Hydraulics, Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1498-F.

Dawdy, D. R. (1964), Statistical Models for Predicting Numbers of Plant Species, Science, 146(3652), pp. 1664, DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3652.1664-c

Dawdy, D. R., and T. O'Donnell (1965), Mathematical Models of Catchment Behavior, Am. Soc. Civil Engineers Proc., Vol. 91, No. HY4, pp. 123-37.

Dawdy, D. R. (1965), Economics of Water Supply, in Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences, Reinhold, New York.

Dawdy, D. R. (1966), The Estimation of Bank Storage from Inflow-Outflow Studies, Intl. Assoc. Hydr. Sci. Publ. No. 70.

Dawdy, D. R. (1967), Knowledge of Sedimentation in Urban Environments, Proc. ASCE, Vol. 93, No. HY6. pp. 235-245.

Dawdy, D. R., and T. H. Thompson (1967), Digital Computer Simulation in Hydrology, Jour. AWWA, Vol. 59, No. 6. 2.

Dawdy, D. R., and J. H. Feth, (1967), Applications of factor analysis in study of chemistry of groundwater quality, Mojave River Valley, California, Water Resources Research, 3(2), 505-510, DOI: 10.1029/WR003i002p00505

Dawdy, D. R., H. E. Kubik, L. R. Beard, and E. R. Close (1968), Worth of Streamflow Data for Project Design-A Pilot Study, USACE HEC Technical Paper 8.

Lichty, R. W., and D. R. Dawdy (1968), Rainfall-Runoff Model for Small Basin Flood Hydrograph Simulation, in Publ. No. 81, Intl. Assoc. Sci. Hydrology.

Dawdy, D. R., and R. W. Lichty (1968), Methodology of Hydrologic Model Building, Intl. Assoc. Hydr. Sci. Publ. No. 81.

Dawdy, D. R. (1968), Considerations Involved in Evaluating Mathematical Modeling of Urban Hydrologic Systems, U. S. Geol. Survey Water Supply Paper 1591-D.

Langbein, W. B.,K. Szesztav, and D. R. Dawdy (1969), A) AIHS / A) IASH, International Association of Scientific Hydrology Bulletin, 14(2), 219-247, DOI: 10.1080/02626666909493729

Dawdy, D. R., and J. M. Bergmann (1969), Effect of rainfall variability on streamflow simulation, Water Resources Research, 5(5), 958-966, DOI: 10.1029/WR005i005p00958

Dawdy, D. R. (1969), AIHS/IASH, International Association of Scientific Hydrology Bulletin, 14(4), 163-178, DOI: 10.1080/02626666909493765

Rodda, J. C., W. B.Langbein, A. G. Kovzel, D. R. Dawdy, and K. Szesztay (1969), Hydrological Network Design--Needs, Problems and Approaches in Reports on WMO/IHD Projects, World Meteorological Organization Report No. 12, p. 57.

Dawdy, D. R. (1969), Mathematical Modeling in Hydrology, First Intl. Seminar for Hydrology Professors, Univ.of Illinois, Urbana, Vol. 1, p. 346-361.

Dawdy, D. R., H. E. Kubik, and E. R. Close (1970), Value of Streamflow Data for Project Design - A Pilot Study, Water Resources Research, 6(4), 1045-1050, DOI: 10.1029/WR006i004p01045

Dawdy, D. R. (1970), Subsidies for waste recycling [1], Environmental Science and Technology, 4(8), 618.

Burkham, D. E., and D. R. Dawdy (1970), Error Analysis of Streamflow Data for an Alluvial Stream, Gila River Phreatophyte Project, U. S. Geol. Prof. Paper 655-C.

Dooge, J. C. I., G. P. Kalinind, and D. R. Dawdy (1971), Report of committee on mathematical models in hydrology, International Association of Scientific Hydrology Bulletin, 16(4), 9-35, DOI:10.1080/02626667109493782

Rodriguez-Iturbe, I., D. R. Dawdy, and L. E. Garcia (1971), Adequacy of Markovian Models with Cyclic Components for Stochastic Streamflow Simulation, Water Resources Research, 7(5), 1127-1143, DOI: 10.1029/WR007i005p01127

Dawdy, D. R., and G. P. Kalinin (1971), Mathematical Modeling in Hydrology, Intl. Assoc. Sci. Hydr. Bull., 16(4), 25-35.

Todorovic, P., and D. R. Dawdy (1971), Stochastic Point Rainfall Simulation, Symp. of Intl. Assoc. Sci. Hydrol., Warsaw, Vol. 1, 359-373.

Dawdy, D. R. (1971), The Fitting of Conceptual Catchment Models in Parametric Hydrology, Symp. Intl. Assoc. Sci. Hydrol., Warsaw, Vol. 3, IAHS Publ. No. 102, 1236-1240.

Rodriguez-Iturbe, I., D. R. Dawdy, and L. E. Garcia (1972), Reply to Comments on “Adequacy of Markovian Models with cyclic components for stochastic streamflow simulation” by Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe,

David R. Dawdy, and Luis E. Garcia", Water Resources Research, 8(6), 1616-1617, DOI: 10.1029/WR008i006p01616

Rodriguez-Iturbe, I., J. M. Mejia, and D. R. Dawdy (1972), Streamflow Simulation: 1. A new look at Markovian Models, fractional Gaussian noise, and Crossing Theory, Water Resources Research, 8(4), 921-930, DOI:10.1029/WR008i004p00921 ]

Garcia, L. E., D. R. Dawdy, and J. M. Mejia (1972), Long memory monthly streamflow simulation by a broken line model, Water Resources Research, 8(4), 1100-1105, DOI:10.1029/WR008i004p01100

Mejia, J. M., I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, and D. R. Dawdy (1972), Streamflow simulation: 2. The broken line process as a potential model for hydrologic simulation, Water Resources Research, 8(4), 931-941, DOI: 10.1029/WR008i004p00931

Dawdy, D. R. (1972), Comment on “Analysis of stochastic hydrologic systems” by Ven Te Chow and S. J. Kareliotis, Water Resources Research, 8(1), 154-156, DOI:10.1029/WR008i001p00154

Dawdy, D. R., R. W. Lichty, and J. M. Bergmann (1972), Rainfall-Runoff Simulation Model for Estimation of Flood Peaks for Small Drainage Basins, U. S.G. S. Prof. Paper 506-B.

Dawdy, D. R., M. E. Moss, and N. C. Matalas (1972), The Application of Systems Analysis to Network Design in Casebook on Network Design, W. M. O., Chapter 3, Paper 4.1.

Dawdy, D. R. (1972), Worth of Data for Inference and Decision Making, Proc. Intl. Symp. Uncertainties in Hydrology and Water Resources, Univ. of Ariz.,Tucson, Vol. 3, 1555-1563.

Moss, M. E., and D. R. Dawdy (1973), Worth Of Data In Hydrologic Design, Highw. Res. Rec., 479, 46-53.

Mejia, J. M., D. R. Dawdy, and C. F. Nordin (1974), Streamflow simulation: 3. The broken line process and operational hydrology, Water Resources Research, 10(2), 242-245, DOI:10.1029/WR010i002p00242

Dawdy, D. R., and J. M. Bergmann (1974), Evaluation Of Effects Of Land-Use Changes On Streamflow, 619-626.

Beard, L. R., G. K. Young, D. Dawdy, D. R. Davis, N. Buras, A. D. Kazanowski, I. Bogardi, and D. P. Gaver (1975), International Symposium On Uncertainties In Hydrologic And Water Resource Systems, Proceedings, 1972.

Lee, K. W., G. W. Kapple, and D. R. Dawdy (1975), Rainfall-Runoff Relation for Redwood Creek above Orick, Calif., U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report, Menlo Park, Calif.

Burkham, D. E., and D. R. Dawdy (1976), Resistance Equation For Alluvial-Channel Flow, ASCE J Hydraul Div, 102(10), 1479-1489.

Burkham, D. E., and D. R. Dawdy (1976), Proposed Revision to the Modified Einstein Method of Computing Total Sediment Discharge, Proc. 3rd Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conf.

Hanson, R. L., and D. R. Dawdy (1976), Accuracy of Evapotranspiration Rates Determined by the Water-Budget Method, Gila River Flood Plain, Southeastern Arizona, U.S. Geological Survey Prof. Paper 655-L.

Dawdy, D. R. (1978), Worth of Data: Keynote address, A.G.U. Chapman Conference, Design of Hydrologic Data Networks, Tucson.

Dawdy, D. R., J. C. Schaake,and W. Alley (1978), User's Guide for Distributed Routing Rainfall-Runoff Model, USGS Water Resources Investigations Report No. 78-90.

Motayed, A., and D. R. Dawdy (1979), Uncertainty in step-backwater analyses, J. Hydraul. Div.: Proc. ASCE 105 HY5, May 1979, 617-622.

Dawdy, D. R., and A. Motayed (1979), Hydrologic analysis for siting a sanitary landfill, in: III World Congress on Water Resources, 8 , Washington, D.C., U.S.A., Int. Water Resour. Assoc.

Dawdy, D. (1979), Hydrologic Data Networks: A Chapman Conference Report, Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 60(9), 145-146, DOI: 10.1029/EO060i009p00145-02

Dawdy, D.R. (1979), The worth of hydrologic data, Water Resources Research, 15(6), 1726-1732, DOI:10.1029/WR015i006p01726

Dawdy, D. R. (1979), Probabilistic-deterministic interactions in hydrology: general report, Modeling hydrologic processes. Proc. Fort Collins 3rd international hydrology symposium, July 1978, 217-224.

Dawdy, D. R. (1979), Flood frequency estimates on alluvial fans, Journal of the Hydraulics Divisions, ASCE 105, HY11, Proc. Paper, 15001, 1407-1413.

Burkham, D. E., D. R. Dawdy, and H. H. Barnes (1980), Flow resistance in cobble and boulder riverbeds. (Discussion of Paper 14576), J. HYDRAUL. DIV.: PROC. ASCE 106, HY6, Jun. 1980, 1132-1139.

Moss, M.E., and D. R. Dawdy (1980), Supply and demand and the design of surface-water supplies, Hydrological Sciences Bulletin, 25(3), 283-295, DOI: 10.1080/02626668009491935

Dawdy, D., and M. D. Maloney (1980), Method of estimating on-shore propagation of storm waves, Geophysical Research Letters, 7(10), 845-847, DOI: 10.1029/GL007i010p00845

Alley, W. M., D. R. Dawdy, and J. C. Schaake Jr (1980), Parametric-deterministic urban watershed model, Journal of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE, 106, HY5, Proc. Paper, 15392, 679-690

Burkham, D. E., and D. R. Dawdy (1980), General study of the modified Einstein method of computing total sediment discharge, US Geological Survey, Water-Supply Paper, 2066, 67

Dawdy, D. R. (1982), Review Of Deterministic Surface Water Routing In Rainfall-Runoff Models, 23-36.

Dawdy, D. R. (1983), Mathematical Modeling Of Scour In Streams, Proc. of Engr. Workshop on Hydraulic Modeling, ASCE Los Angeles Section, Long Beach, May 11, 1985, 64-69.

Cawood, P. B., S. A. Smith, and D. R. Dawdy (1985), Critique Of Trends In Surface Water Monitoring And Computation, 204-205.

Alvarez, D., C. W. Wang, and D. R. Dawdy. (1986), Analysis Of Alluvial Fan Flooding, 1428-1434.

Dawdy, D. R., and V. A. Vanoni (1986), Modeling alluvial channels, Water Resources Research, 22(9), 71S-81S, DOI: 10.1029/WR022i09Sp0071S

Dawdy, D. R., and D. P. Lettenmaier (1987), Initiative for risk-based flood design, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 113(8), 1041-1051, DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1987)113:8(1041)

Dawdy, D. R., and V. Vanoni (1987), Reply [to Comment on “Modeling alluvial channels” by David R. Dawdy and Vito A. Vanoni], Water Resources Research, 23(11), 2156, DOI: 10.1029/WR023i011p02156

Dawdy, D. R. (1987), Evaluation of hydrologic models used to quantify major land-use change effects, Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 113(3), 432-434, DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9437(1987)113:3(432)

Dawdy, D. R., G. D. Ashton, R. Hadley, D. Laura, H. J. Peters, and D. A. Rickert (1988), IAHS General Assembly Symposia, Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 69 (22), 626, DOI: 10.1029/88EO00196

Dawdy, D. R., J. C. Hill, and K. C. Hanson (1989), Implementation of FEMA guidelines on alluvial fans.

Dawdy, D. R., and D. P. Lettenmaier (1989), Closure to "Initiative for risk-based flood design", Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 115(3), 421-422, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1989)115:3(421)

Lettenmaier, D. P., T. Y. Gan, and D. R. Dawdy (1989), Interpretation of Hydrologic Effects of Climate Change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin, California, in The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States, Appendix A: Water Resources, edited by J.B. Smith and D. A. Tirpak, EPA Rept 230-05-89-051.

Dawdy, D. R. (1990), Kinematic wave routing and computational error, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 116(2), 278-280, DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1990)116:2(278)

Chang, H., D. Dawdy, K. Edwards, M. Faltas, D. James, E. Korsten, R. Lenaburg, and J. Slosson (1990), Erodible channel models. State of the art review, Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands, 428-434.

Keaton, J. R., R. J. Shlemon, R. H. French, and D. R. Dawdy (1990), Piedmont-fan flood hazard analysis from geomorphology and surface water hydrology, Hudspeth County, Texas, Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands, 356-360.

Wang, W. C., and D. R. Dawdy (1990), Regional flood frequency equations for Antelope Valley in Kern County, California, Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands, 501-506.

Dawdy, D. R. (1990), Sorry state of flood hydrology in the arid southwest, Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands, 743-748.

Dawdy, D. R. (1990), Hydrology of Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon, in Colorado River Ecology and Dam Management, Proc. of Symp. In Santa Fe, National Academy Press, pp. 40-53.

Dawdy, D. R. (1991), Problems of runoff modeling which are particular to the area or climate being modeled, In Recent advances in the modeling of hydrologic systems, 541-547.

Dawdy, D. R. (1991), Comparison of USGS and HEC-1 kinematic wave runoff models, In Recent advances in the modeling of hydrologic systems, 549-557.

Dawdy, D. R. (1991), Publication of Court Evidence in Professional Journals, Ethical Problems for the Professional Hydrologist, Ray K. Linsley Lecture of the American Institute of Hydrology, Portland, Ore.

Dawdy, D. R. (1992), Comment on Bill Back's Book Review of Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences, Narrow view of hydrology? Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 73(27), 290, DOI: 10.1029/91EO00232

Dawdy, D. R., and W. C. Wang (1993), Prediction of gravel transport using parker's algorithm, Proceedings - National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, 1523-1528.

Gupta, V. K., O. J. Mesa, and D. R. Dawdy (1994), Multiscaling theory of flood peaks: Regional quantile analysis, Water Resources Research, 30(12), 3405-3421, DOI: 10.1029/94WR01791

Dawdy, D. R., and W. C. Wang (1994), Prediction of gravel bedload with SAM, Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference on Water Policy and, 420-424.

Gupta, V. K., and D. R. Dawdy (1995), Physical interpretations of regional variations in the scaling exponents of flood quantiles, Hydrological Processes, 9, 347- 361, DOI:10.1002/hyp.3360090309 [

Dawdy, D. R., and V. K. Gupta (1995), Multiscaling and Skew Separation in Regional Floods, Water Resources Research, 31(11), 2761- 2767, DOI:10.1029/95WR02078

Dawdy, D. R., and V. K. Gupta (1997), "Reply [to ""comment on 'Multiscaling and skew separation in regional floods' by David R. Dawdy and Vijay K. Gupta""]", Water Resources Research, 33(1), 273- 275, DOI: 10.1029/96WR02732

Bakke, P. D., P. O. Basdekas, D. R. Dawdy, and P. C. Klingeman (1999), Calibrated Parker-Klingeman model for gravel transport, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 125(6), 657- 660, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1999)125:6(657)

Dawdy, D. R., W. C. Wang, and P. Basdekas (1999), Calibration of the Parker-Klingeman model with variable shear, Proc. 7th Intl. Symp. on River Sedimentation, Hong Kong, Dec. 1998, edited by Jayawardena, Lee, and Wang, pp. 753-756

Ogden, F. L., and D. R. Dawdy (2003), Peak discharge scaling in small Hortonian watershed, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 8(2), 64-73, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(2003)8:2(64)

Ogden, F. L., and D. R. Dawdy (2003), Hydrologic Scaling of Peak Flows: Implications of Runoff Production Mechanism and Rainfall on the Ungaged Basin Problem, World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, 1489-1498.

Dawdy, D. R. (2007), Prediction versus understanding (The 2006 Ven Te Chow lecture), Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 12(1), 1-3, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(2007)12:1(1)

Gupta, V. K., B. M. Troutman, and D. R. Dawdy (2007), Towards a nonlinear geophysical theory of floods in river networks: An overview of 20 years of progress, in Nonlinear Dynamics in Geosciences, edited by A. A. Tsonis and J. B. Elsner, pp. 1–31, doi:10.1007/978-0-387-34918-3_8, Springer, New York.

Gupta, V. K., R. Mantilla, B. M. Troutman, D. Dawdy, and W. F. Krajewski (2010), Generalizing a nonlinear geophysical flood theory to medium-sized river networks, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L11402, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL041540

Dawdy, D., V. Griffis, and V. Gupta (2012), Regional Flood-Frequency Analysis: How We Got Here and Where We Are Going, J. Hydrol. Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000584, 953-959.

Wang, W.C., and D. R. Dawdy (2014), Flow resistance of gravel bed channels, International Journal of Sediment Research, 29(1), 126-132, DOI: 10.1016/S1001-6279(14)60028-7


Dave Dawdy can be seen interviewing Jim Dooge here

He can also be seen interviewing Terrence O'Donnell here