Under a changing environment, the current hydrological design values derived from historical flood data for the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) might be no longer applicable due to the newly-built reservoirs upstream from the TGR and the changes in climatic conditions. In this study, we perform a multivariate dam-site flood frequency analysis for the TGR considering future reservoir regulation and summer precipitation. The Xinanjiang model and Muskingum routing method are used to reconstruct the dam-site flood variables during the operation period of the TGR. Then the distributions of the dam-site flood peak and flood volumes with durations of 3, 7, 15, and 30 days are built by Pearson type III (PIII) distribution with time-varying parameters, which are expressed as functions of both reservoir index and summer precipitation anomaly (SPA). The multivariate joint distribution of the dam-site flood variables is constructed by a 5-D C-vine copula. Finally, by using the criteria of annual average reliability (AAR) associated with the exceedance probabilities of OR, AND and Kendall, we derive the multivariate dam-site design floods for the TGR from the predicted flood distributions during the future operation period of the reservoir. The results indicate that the mean values of all flood variables are positively linked to SPA and negatively linked to RI. In the future, the flood mean values are predicted to present a dramatic decrease due to the regulation of the reservoirs upstream from the TGR. As the result, the design dam-site floods in the future will be smaller than those derived from historical flood distributions. This finding indicates that the TGR would have smaller flood risk in the future.
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