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Water 2017, 9(9), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090692

Assessment of the Combined Effects of Threshold Selection and Parameter Estimation of Generalized Pareto Distribution with Applications to Flood Frequency Analysis

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
3
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract

Floods are costly natural disasters that are projected to increase in severity and frequency into the future. Exceedances over a high threshold and analysis of their distributions, as determined through the Peak Over Threshold (POT) method and approximated by a Generalized Pareto Distribution (GPD), respectively, are widely used for flood frequency analysis. This study investigates the combined effects of threshold selection and GPD parameter estimation on the accuracy of flood quantile estimates, and develops a new, widely-applicable framework that significantly improves the accuracy of flood quantile estimations. First, the performance of several parameter estimators (i.e., Maximum Likelihood; Probability Weighted Moments; Maximum Goodness of Fit; Likelihood Moment; Modified Likelihood Moment; and Nonlinear Weighted Least Square Error) for the GPD was compared through Monte Carlo simulation. Then, a calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model for the province of Alberta, Canada, was used to reproduce daily streamflow series for 47 watersheds distributed across the province, and the POT was applied to each. The Goodness of Fit for the resulting flood frequency models was measured by the upper tail Anderson-Darling (AD) test and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) and demonstrated improvements for more than one-third of stations by averages of 65% (AD) and 47% (RMSE), respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: peak over threshold (POT); extreme value analysis; flood; extreme hydrological events; flood quantiles peak over threshold (POT); extreme value analysis; flood; extreme hydrological events; flood quantiles
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gharib, A.; Davies, E.G.R.; Goss, G.G.; Faramarzi, M. Assessment of the Combined Effects of Threshold Selection and Parameter Estimation of Generalized Pareto Distribution with Applications to Flood Frequency Analysis. Water 2017, 9, 692.

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