A regionalization procedure is presented and used to predict probable flooding in four ungauged coastal river basins of El Salvador: Paz, Jiboa, Grande de San Miguel, and Goascoran. The flood-prediction problem is sequentially solved for two regions: upstream mountains and downstream alluvial plains. In the upstream mountains, a set of rainfall-runoff parameter values and recurrent peak-flow discharge hydrographs are simultaneously estimated for 20 tributary-basin models. Application of dissimilarity equations among tributary basins (soft prior information) permitted development of a parsimonious parameter structure subject to information content in the recurrent peak-flow discharge values derived using regression equations based on measurements recorded outside the ungauged study basins. The estimated joint set of parameter values formed the basis from which probable minimum and maximum peak-flow discharge limits were then estimated revealing that prediction uncertainty increases with basin size. In the downstream alluvial plain, model application of the estimated minimum and maximum peak-flow hydrographs facilitated simulation of probable 100-year flood-flow depths in confined canyons and across unconfined coastal alluvial plains. The regionalization procedure provides a tool for hydrologic risk assessment and flood protection planning that is not restricted to the case presented herein. ?? 2008 ASCE.
Additional publication details
Probable flood predictions in ungauged coastal basins of El Salvador