Alignment of Large Flood-Peaks on Arid Watersheds

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by B. M. Reich, E. Cerrada Adelita, Tucson, United States,
K. G. Renard, E. Cerrada Adelita, Tucson, United States,
F. A. Lopez, E. Cerrada Adelita, Tucson, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)

Abstract: Bridge and culvert design requires estimates for 25- to 100-year return period flood peaks (Q). Floodplain delineation calls for 500-year (Q500) estimates. Arid western flood series are shorter and more variable than eastern ones (Reich, 1969). Even if about 30 years of good data exist, various statistical models will produce widely different estimates of flood frequency. This paper shows users how variable results may be because of natural variability, mathematical peculiarities, or different flood geneses in arid regions. It also suggests how close flood estimates may be from six engineers who select best fits of the larger floods from four graphical displays.

Subject Headings: Flood frequency | Arid lands | Bridge design | Data processing | Watersheds | Culverts | Hydraulic design |

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