Estimating Exceedance Probabilities of Extreme Floods

by Thomas A. Fontaine, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,
Kenneth W. Potter, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,



Abstract: Estimates of the exceedance probabilities of extreme floods are needed for risk analysis of dams and nuclear energy facilities. A new approach using a joint probability distribution of extreme rainfalls and antecedent soil moisture conditions, along with a rainfall runoff model, provides estimates of probabilities for floods approaching the probable maximum flood. This approach is illustrated for a 570 km2 catchment in the upper midwestern U.S..

Subject Headings: Probability | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Flood frequency | Runoff | Risk management | Probability distribution | Hydrologic models

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