With the acceleration of human economic activities and dramatic changes in climate, the validity of the stationarity assumption of flood time series frequency analysis has been questioned. In this study, a framework for flood frequency analysis is developed on the basis of a tool, namely, the Generalized Additive Models for Location, Scale, and Shape (GAMLSS). We introduced this model to construct a non-stationary model with time and climate factor as covariates for the 50-year snowmelt flood time series in the Kenswat Reservoir control basin of the Manas River. The study shows that there are clear non-stationarities in the flood regime, and the characteristic series of snowmelt flood shows an increasing trend with the passing of time. The parameters of the flood distributions are modelled as functions of climate indices (temperature and rainfall). The physical mechanism was incorporated into the study, and the simulation results are similar to the actual flood conditions, which can better describe the dynamic process of snowmelt flood characteristic series. Compared with the design flood results of Kenswat Reservoir approved by the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute in December 2008, the design value of the GAMLSS non-stationary model considers that the impact of climate factors create a design risk in dry years by underestimating the risk.
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