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Estimating the probability of simultaneous rainfall extremes within a region: a spatial approach

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lee Fawcett, Dr David WalshawORCiD


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In this paper we investigate the impact of model mis–specification, in terms of the dependencestructure in the extremes of a spatial process, on the estimation of key quantities that areof interest to hydrologists and engineers. For example, it is often the case that severe flood-ing occurs as a result of the observation of rainfall extremes at several locations in a regionsimultaneously. Thus, practitioners might be interested in estimates of the joint exceedanceprobability of some high levels across these locations. It is likely that there will be spatialdependence present between the extremes, and this should be properly accounted for whenestimating such probabilities. We compare the use of standard models from the geostatis-tics literature with max–stables models from extreme value theory. We find that, in somesituations, using an incorrect spatial model for our extremes results in a significant under–estimation of these probabilities which – in flood defence terms – could lead to substantialunder–protection.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fawcett L, Walshaw D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Statistics

Year: 2014

Volume: 41

Issue: 5

Pages: 959-976

Print publication date: 14/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0266-4763

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0532

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02664763.2013.856872


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