River Flood Flows, Forecasts and Probabilities

by Michael C. Quick,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1965, Vol. 91, Issue 3, Pg. 1-18

Document Type: Journal Paper


River flows are forecast from meteorological and snow data. The forecasting system is based on an analogy with a highly damped spring mass system, the input to this system being the snowmelt determined from the thermal energy supplied to the snowpack. The necessary conditions for flood flows are studied and the inherent limitations against catastrophic flooding are demonstrated. It is argued that a better estimate of flood flows can be made by determining the separate probabilities of each of the necessary conditions for a flood to occur, especially if only short records exist. The study indicates the importance and the shortage of certain data and makes recommendations for further data gathering.

Subject Headings: Streamflow | Floods | River flow | Forecasting | Probability | Snow | Hydrologic data | Weather forecasting

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