Frequency analysis of floods is a very active area of investigation in Statistical Hydrology. Various distributions, methods of estimation of parameters, problems related to regionalization, and other related topics are being investigated. Much of this material is in journals and reports, and usually in a form which is not easily accessible to students and practitioners. Consequently, the gap between research and practice is growing in this field.
The main purpose of this book is to present many of these distributions and estimation procedures in a unified fashion so that they would be available to students and practitioners. An attempt is made to make the book self-contained. The details behind the procedures are given in full so that the reader can see the basis for the computations. For each of the distributions considered—three-parameter estimation methods, the method of moments, the maximum likelihood method, and the method of probability-weighted moments—are discussed. Where they are available, the standard errors of estimates are also discussed.
Each procedure is illustrated with real data. Most of the computations discussed in the book have been reprogrammed for use with personal computers. Executable versions of these programs are available on a CD-ROM from the senior author. The main distribution families discussed in the book have been chosen because of their popularity within the hydrogic community. There are many other distributions which have been proposed. Often these are discussed in a few papers and are either not used or studied further. Similarly, parameter estimation methods outside the better known ones are also not discussed. We would be glad to hear from the readers about the material discussed in the book and related matters. After about five decades of work, the field is still evolving. Only by increased use of these distributions and methods can a consensus be reached about them. We hope the material in this book contributes to that goal.
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