Cyclic Streamflow Test for Validity of Randomness

by David E. Creighton, Jr., Arizona Dep of Water Resources, Phoenix, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H?AL)


Long-term Arizona runoff records used for flood insurance frequency analysis estimates are compared with long-term precipitation station records for cyclic behavior. Runoff cumulative departure from average (CDA) displays a long-term cycle. The Verde River record shows a cycle from 1906 to 1985. A parallel charting of Flagstaff and Tucson precipitation extends the runoff chart pattern. Highest ranked discharges (HRD) fall within the rising, or high (wet) portions of the CDA curve. The period of record most used for flood insurance discharges estimates has not included HRD events of the long-term indicator stations. Runoff and precipitation CDA, when compared with HRD, call for examination of the primary assumptions of randomness and non-cyclic behavior.

Subject Headings: Runoff | Flood frequency | Streamflow | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Precipitation | Insurance | Water discharge | Arizona | United States

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