Risk-Cost Analysis and Spillway Design

by Jery Stedinger, Cornell Univ, Dep of Environmental, Engineering, Ithaca, NY, USA,
Jan Grygier, Cornell Univ, Dep of Environmental, Engineering, Ithaca, NY, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computer Applications in Water Resources

Abstract: The NRC's recent report on dam safety proposes risk cost analysis to help select among alternative spillway modifications for existing dams. This paper examines the sensitivity of conclusions drawn from such procedures to the probability assigned to the probable maximum flood (PMF) and to the flood frequency model employed. Uncertainty as to the return period of the PMF can easily change the relative attractiveness of alternative designs. The distribution chosen to extend the frequency curve to the PMF can also influence the results. Likely errors in estimated damage functions and their shape seem relatively less important.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Flood frequency | Spillways | Hydrologic models | Hydraulic design | Federal government | Dam safety | Probability

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