volume: 44, issue:
In terms of engineering standards, the dimensions of hydraulic structures such as culverts on forest roads should have the capability to drain the expected maximum discharge for a 50-year return period during their lifespan (i.e., 20 years). In Turkey, Talbot’s formula, as empirical method, has commonly been used in determining the required cross-sectional area (CSA) of the structures. However, in practice, forest road engineers in Turkey do not pay enough attention to their construction with required dimensions calculated by Talbot’s formula. In the present study, the Hydrological Engineering Centre – River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) model was used to evaluate the dimensions of installed structures in terms of their ability to drain maximum discharges, with the aim of determining the required dimensions for those that could not meet this requirement. To this purpose, the 6+000 km forest road No. 410 in Acısu Forest Enterprise, Gerede Forest Directorate (Bolu, Turkey) was selected as the study area. In total, 15 small watersheds crossed by the forest road were delineated, with only six of them having cross-drainage structures. The HEC-RAS model geometry was generated by manual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights at altitudes of 5–15 m, providing very high spatial resolution (<1 cm). The maximum discharges of the watersheds were estimated for the HEC-RAS model using the Rational, Kürsteiner, and Soil Conservation Service-Curve Number (SCS-CN) methods. Maximum discharges of 0.18–6.03 were found for the Rational method, 0.45–4.46 for the Kürsteiner method, and 0.25–7.97 for the SCS-CN method. According to the HEC-RAS hydraulic model CSA simulations, most of the installed culvert CSAs calculated by Talbot’s formula were found to be incapable of draining maximum discharges. The study concluded that the HEC-RAS model can provide accurate and reliable results for determining the dimensions of such structures for forest roads.