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Water 2017, 9(7), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070481

Evaluating Annual Maximum and Partial Duration Series for Estimating Frequency of Small Magnitude Floods

1
CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2
Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (iCAM) Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
3
CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 24 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract

Understanding the nature of frequent floods is important for characterising channel morphology, riparian and aquatic habitat, and informing river restoration efforts. This paper presents results from an analysis on frequency estimates of low magnitude floods using the annual maximum and partial series data compared to actual flood series. Five frequency distribution models were fitted to data from 24 gauging stations in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon catchments in north-eastern Australia. Based on the goodness of fit test, Generalised Extreme Value, Generalised Pareto and Log Pearson Type 3 models were used to estimate flood frequencies across the study region. Results suggest frequency estimates based on a partial series are better, compared to an annual series, for small to medium floods, while both methods produce similar results for large floods. Although both methods converge at a higher recurrence interval, the convergence recurrence interval varies between catchments. Results also suggest frequency estimates vary slightly between two or more partial series, depending on flood threshold, and the differences are large for the catchments that experience less frequent floods. While a partial series produces better frequency estimates, it can underestimate or overestimate the frequency if the flood threshold differs largely compared to bankfull discharge. These results have significant implications in calculating the dependency of floodplain ecosystems on the frequency of flooding and their subsequent management. View Full-Text
Keywords: bankfull discharge; flood variability; flash flood index; POT; ecology bankfull discharge; flood variability; flash flood index; POT; ecology
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Karim, F.; Hasan, M.; Marvanek, S. Evaluating Annual Maximum and Partial Duration Series for Estimating Frequency of Small Magnitude Floods. Water 2017, 9, 481.

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