On Return Periodof the Largest Historical Flood
Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection
The use of nonsystematic flood data for statistical purposes depends on reliability of assessment both flood magnitudes and their return period. The earliest known extreme flood year is usually the beginning of the historical record. Even though the magnitudes of historic floods are properly assessed, a problem of their retun periods remains unsolved. Only largest flood (XM) is known during whole historical period and its occurrence carves the mark of the beginning of the historical period and
... torical period and defines its length (L). So, it is a common practice of using the earliest known flood year as the beginning of the record. It means that the L value selected is an empirical estimate of the lower bound on the effective historical length M. The estimation of the return period of XM based on its occurrence, i.e. M = L , gives the severe upward bias. Problem is to estimate the time period (M) representative of the largest observed flood XM. From the discrete uniform distribution with support of the probability of the L position of XM one gets M = L 2 which has been taken as the return period of XM and as the effective historical record length. The efficiency of using the largest historical flood (XM) for large quantile estimation (i.e. one with return period T = 100 years) has been assessed using maximum likelihood (ML) method with various length of systematic record (N) and various estimates of historical period length M comparing accuracy with the case when only systematic records alone (N) are used. The i-th simulation procedure incorporates systematic record and one largest historic flood (XMi) in the period M which appeared in the Li year backward from the end of historical period. The simulation result for selected distributions, values of their parameters, different N and M values are presented in terms of bias (B) and root mean square error (RMSE) of the quantile of interest and widely discussed.