Paleoflood Hydrology and Design Decision for High-Risk Projects

by Victor R. Baker, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
Lisa L. Ely, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,
Jim E. O'Connor, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Paleoflood hydrology is not merely one of several alternative methods for risk-based design. Rather, certain kinds of accurate data on the largest paleofloods of recent millennia provide the independent means for testing either (a) flood-frequency analysis of conventional data, or (b) model-based flood parameters like the probable maximum flood. Unless it can be rationalized that such testing is unnecessary, then present flood design practice in the U.S. is subject to the accusation that it largely ignores a critical source of real-world information on precisely that phenomenon which it purports to wisely control: rare, high-hazard flooding.

Subject Headings: Flood frequency | Hydrology | Risk management | Floods | Data analysis | Water resources | Resource management

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