Historical extraordinary floods are an important factor in non-stationary flood frequency analysis and they may occur at any time, regardless of whether the environment is changing or not. Based on mixed distribution (MD) modeling, this paper proposed an improved mixed distribution (IMD) model to consider the discontinuity and non-stationarity of flood samples simultaneously, which adds historical extraordinary floods in both sub-series divided by a change point. As a case study, the annual maximum peak discharge and volume series of Ankang hydrological station, located in the upper Hanjiang River Basin of China, were selected to identify non-stationarity by using the variation diagnosis system. MD and IMD were used to fit the flood characteristic series and a genetic algorithm was employed to estimate the optimal parameters. Compared with the design flood values fitted by the stationary Pearson type-III distribution, the results computed by IMD decreased at low return periods and increased at high return periods, with the difference varying from −6.67% to 7.19%. The results highlighted that although the design flood values of IMD are slightly larger than those of MD with different return periods, IMD provided a better result than MD. IMD provides a new perspective for non-stationary flood frequency analysis.
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