Envelope Curves for Extreme Flood Events

by John R. Crippen, Supervisory Hydro.; U.S. Geological Survey, 855 Oak Ave., Menlo Park, Calif. 94025,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 10, Pg. 1208-1212

Document Type: Journal Paper


Maximum flood experience in a region can be depicted by a graph on which maximum known floods are plotted against drainage area. A smooth curve enveloping the plotted points provides the most concise description. such curves have been developed for 17 regions in the conterminous United States and are described by equations. The curves are not associated with specific probabilities or frequencies, but, within the region to which they apply, they give evidence as to the magnitude of flow that was occurred. Given similar basin characteristics, a peak lying close to the envelope curve might occur at other basins in the same region.

Subject Headings: Curvature | Floods | Drainage | Probability | Drainage basins | Professional societies | United States

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