A Probabilistic Approach to Estimate Design Parameters for Flood Control Projects

by D. Consuegra, Swiss Federal Inst of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland,
P. Meylan, Swiss Federal Inst of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland,
A. Musy, Swiss Federal Inst of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The purpose of this paper is to provide engineering consultants with an improved method to estimate design parameters for various return periods in rural areas. The proposed method combines deterministic and probabilistic approaches to compute more realistic return periods for the parameters of interest. The technique generates a wide number of deterministic scenarios based on different combinations of design storms and moisture conditions described by a modified antecedent precipitation index (API). For any design parameter like peak flow, flood volume, flood stage in a canal, reservoir level or peak outflow from a detention facility, the method computes the corresponding return period as a function of the joint probability of occurrence of rainfall and API. Even if the method does not overcome the embarrassing choice of a design storm pattern, it does provide a more objective basis to compare scenarios with different input parameters.

Subject Headings: Probability | Hydraulic design | Parameters (statistics) | Floods | Project management | Consulting services | Storms | Moisture

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