Certain relevant variables for dam safety and downstream safety assessments are analyzed using a stochastic approach. In particular, a method to estimate quantiles of maximum outflow in a dam spillway and maximum water level reached in the reservoir during a flood event is presented. The hydrological system analyzed herein is a small mountain catchment in north Spain, whose main river is a tributary of Ebro river. The ancient Foradada dam is located in this catchment. This dam has no gates, so that flood routing operation results from simple consideration of fixed crest spillway hydraulics. In such case, both mentioned variables (maximum outflow and maximum reservoir water level) are basically derived variables that depend on flood hydrograph characteristics and the reservoir’s initial water level. A Monte Carlo approach is performed to generate very large samples of synthetic hydrographs and previous reservoir levels. The use of extreme value copulas allows the ensembles to preserve statistical properties of historical samples and the observed empirical correlations. Apart from the classical approach based on annual periods, the modelling strategy is also applied differentiating two subperiods or seasons (i.e., summer and winter). This allows to quantify the return period distortion introduced when seasonality is ignored in the statistical analysis of the two relevant variables selected for hydrological risk assessment. Results indicate significant deviations for return periods over 125 years. For the analyzed case study, ignoring seasonal statistics and trends, yields to maximum outflows underestimation of 18% for T
= 500 years and 29% for T
= 1000 years were obtained.
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