Optimal regionalization of extreme value distributions for flood estimation

Regionalization methods have long been used to estimate high return levels of river discharges at ungauged locations on a river network. In these methods, discharge measurements from a homogeneous group of similar, gauged, stations are used to estimate high quantiles at a target location that has no observations. The similarity of this group to the ungauged location is measured in terms of a hydrological distance measuring differences in physical and meteorological catchment attributes. We develop a statistical method for estimation of high return levels based on regionalizing the parameters of a generalized extreme value distribution. The group of stations is chosen by optimizing over the attribute weights of the hydrological distance, ensuring similarity and in-group homogeneity. Our method is applied to discharge data from the Rhine basin in Switzerland, and its performance at ungauged locations is compared to that of other regionalization methods. For gauged locations we show how our approach improves the estimation uncertainty for long return periods by combining local measurements with those from the chosen group.


Published in:
JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, 556, 182-193
Year:
2018
Keywords:
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 Record created 2018-11-08, last modified 2020-04-20

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