Importance of record length with respect to estimating the 1-percent chance flood



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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow gages have been established in every State in the Nation, Puerto Rico, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. From these st reamflow records, estimates of the magnitude and frequency of floods are often developed and used to design transportation and water- conveyance structures to protect lives and property, and to determine flood-insurance rates. Probably the most recognizable flood statistic computed from USGS stream gaging records is the 1- percent (%) chance flood; better known has the 100-year flood. By definition, this is a flood that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. The 1% chance flood is a statistical estimate that can be significantly influenced by length of record and extreme flood events captured in that record. Consequently, it is typically recommended that flood statistics be updated on some regular interval such as every 10 years. This paper examines the influence of record length on the 1% chance flood for the Broad River in Georgia and the substantial difference that can occur in the estimate based on record length and the hydrologic conditions under which that record was collected. 

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Importance of record length with respect to estimating the 1-percent chance flood
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher South Carolina Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Title 2010 South Carolina Water Resources Conference
First page 1
Last page 4
Conference Title Proceedings of the 2010 South Carolina Water Resources Conference
Conference Location Columbia, SC
Conference Date October 13-14, 2010
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N