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Intensity–Duration–Frequency curves exploiting neighboring extreme precipitation data

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andras BardossyORCiD


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Records of precipitation extremes are essential for hydrological design. In urban hydrology,intensity–duration–frequency curves are typically estimated from observation records. However,conventional approaches seldom consider the areal extent of events. If they do, duration dependentarea reduction factors are used, but precipitation is measured at only a few locations.Due to the high spatial variability of precipitation, it is relatively unlikely that a gauged observationnetwork will capture the extremes that occur during a precipitation event. Therefore, thearea reduction approach cannot be regarded as the reduction of an observed maximum. Toinvestigate precipitation extremes, spatial aspects need to be considered using differentapproaches. Here, we both address the conventional practice of area reduction and consider awithin-area chance of increased precipitation, defined as the maximum precipitation intensityobserved in a cluster within a selected domain. The results show that (1) the risk of urbanflooding is routinely underestimated in current design practice, and (2) traditional calculationsunderestimate extremes by as much as 30–50%. We show how they can be revised sensibly.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bardossy A, Pegram G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Hydrological Sciences Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 63

Issue: 11

Pages: 1593-1604

Online publication date: 25/10/2018

Acceptance date: 03/09/2018

ISSN (print): 0262-6667

ISSN (electronic): 2150-3435

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1524987


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