The recently developed expected moments algorithm (EMA) [Cohn et al., 1997] does as well as maximum likelihood estimations at estimating log-Pearson type 3 (LP3) flood quantiles using systematic and historical flood information. Needed extensions include use of a regional skewness estimator and its precision to be consistent with Bulletin 17B. Another issue addressed by Bulletin 17B is the treatment of low outliers. A Monte Carlo study compares the performance of Bulletin 17B using the entire sample with and without regional skew with estimators that use regional skew and censor low outliers, including an extended EMA estimator, the conditional probability adjustment (CPA) from Bulletin 17B, and an estimator that uses probability plot regression (PPR) to compute substitute values for low outliers. Estimators that neglect regional skew information do much worse than estimators that use an informative regional skewness estimator. For LP3 data the low outlier rejection procedure generally results in no loss of overall accuracy, and the differences between the MSEs of the estimators that used an informative regional skew are generally modest in the skewness range of real interest. Samples contaminated to model actual flood data demonstrate that estimators which give special treatment to low outliers significantly outperform estimators that make no such adjustment.
Additional publication details
Log Pearson type 3 quantile estimators with regional skew information and low outlier adjustments