Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM) software archive

May 12, 2021

The Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM) was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Project Delivery and Environmental Review to transform complex scientific data into meaningful information about the risk of adverse effects of runoff on receiving waters, the potential need for mitigation measures, and the potential effectiveness of such management measures for reducing these risks (Granato 2013; Granato and Jones, 2014). SELDM is a stochastic model because it uses Monte Carlo methods to produce the random combinations of input variable values needed to generate the stochastic population of values for each component variable. SELDM calculates the dilution of runoff in the receiving waters and the resulting downstream event mean concentrations and annual average lake concentrations. Results are ranked, and plotting positions are calculated, to indicate the level of risk of adverse effects caused by runoff concentrations, flows, and loads on receiving waters by storm and by year. Unlike deterministic hydrologic models, SELDM is not calibrated by changing values of input variables to match a historical record of values. Instead, input values for SELDM are based on site characteristics and representative statistics for each hydrologic variable. Thus, SELDM is an empirical model based on data and statistics rather than theoretical physiochemical equations. The SELDM was developed as a database application with a simple graphical user interface (GUI) by using Microsoft Access? to facilitate highway and urban runoff analyses by scientists, engineers, and decisionmakers without specialized modeling skills. SELDM uses information about a highway site, the associated receiving-water basin, precipitation events, stormflow, water quality, and the performance of mitigation measures to produce a stochastic population of runoff-quality variables. SELDM provides input statistics for precipitation, prestorm flow, runoff coefficients, and concentrations of selected water-quality constituents from National datasets. Input statistics may be selected on the basis of the latitude, longitude, and physical characteristics of the site of interest and the upstream basin. The user also may derive and input statistics for each variable that are specific to a given site of interest or a given area. This software archive is designed to document different versions of SELDM that have been used by the USGS, Federal and State transportation engineers, and others since version 1.0 was published as a USGS techniques and methods report (Granato 2013). Versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.3 were developed to implement minor modifications to the software. Version 1.1.0 was developed to provide an interface to run multiple analyses in one session, which facilitates use of the model for scenario and sensitivity analyses. Details about version changes are provided within SELDM?s GUI and in the ?ReadMe? files within this software release.

Publication Year 2021
Title Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM) software archive
DOI 10.5066/P9PYG7T5
Authors Gregory E Granato
Product Type Software Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization New England Water Science Center