The objective of flood frequency analysis (FFA) is to associate flood intensity with a probability of exceedance. Many methods are currently employed for this, ranging from statistical distribution fitting to simulation approaches. In many cases the site of interest is actually ungauged, and a regionalisation scheme has to be associated with the FFA method, leading to a multiplication of the number of possible methods available. This paper presents the results of a wide-range comparison of FFA methods from statistical and simulation families associated with different regionalisation schemes based on regression, or spatial or physical proximity. The methods are applied to a set of 1535 French catchments, and a k-fold cross-validation procedure is used to consider the ungauged configuration. The results suggest that FFA from the statistical family largely relies on the regionalisation step, whereas the simulation-based method is more stable regarding regionalisation. This conclusion emphasises the difficulty of the regionalisation process. The results are also contrasted depending on the type of climate: the Mediterranean catchments tend to aggravate the differences between the methods.
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