Estimation of flood frequencies for ungaged catchments

Timothy H. Raines, Juan B Valdes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Accurate flood frequency curves are difficult to obtain for ungaged catchments. A typical procedure uses a simulation model to compute peak discharges where the recurrence interval is assumed to be equal to that of the design storm. Derived flood frequency distributions provide an alternative to this approach. The Diaz-Granados derived flood frequency distribution is modified to use the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) curve number method instead of the Philip equation because the required data are more readily available. The derived approach, the methods of Hebson and Wood and Diaz-Granados, and a HEC-1 simulation model are evaluated for four catchments in Texas with different climate, geomorphology, soil-type, and land-use characteristics. The procedure derived in this work is an improvement of the previous approach but none of these methods provided consistently better results when compared to Log-Pearson type III distributions of historic data for all four catchments. Improvement in the parameter estimation procedure to provide more reproducible parameters may yield consistently better results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1154
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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