Peak Discharge Frequency from Rainfall Information

by William C. Hughes, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Colorado, Denver Campus, Denver, Colorado,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 39-50

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method is formulated for deriving a peak discharge frequency curve using regional rainfall frequencies and historic rainfall information. The method provides a means for obtaining a design discharge with a desired design frequency for small drainage basins where no streamflow data are available. The variables used in the method are rainfall volume, rainfall duration, the temporal distribution of the rainfall and antecedent rainfall, where the latter is used as a basin loss coefficient. The method formulates the probability of a given peak discharge in terms of a finite number of mutually exclusive joint probabilities, where each joint probability represents the simultaneous occurence of given values of these variables.

Subject Headings: Rainfall duration | Probability | Water discharge | Rainfall frequency | Hydraulic design | Drainage basins | Joints | Streamflow

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