Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Design Floods Considering the Epistemic Uncertainty

Version 1 : Received: 11 February 2021 / Approved: 17 February 2021 / Online: 17 February 2021 (10:08:19 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 7 May 2021 / Approved: 13 May 2021 / Online: 13 May 2021 (12:42:08 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Drobot, R.; Draghia, A.F.; Ciuiu, D.; Trandafir, R. Design Floods Considering the Epistemic Uncertainty. Water 2021, 13, 1601. Drobot, R.; Draghia, A.F.; Ciuiu, D.; Trandafir, R. Design Floods Considering the Epistemic Uncertainty. Water 2021, 13, 1601.


The design flood concept (DF) provides for an essential tool in designing the hydraulic works, in defining the reservoir operation programs and for a reliable flood hazard identification. Under a simplified approach, the maximum discharge and the floods volume are statistically processed to reasonably define the DF. Yet, the integral hydrograph provides additional key temporal and quantitative details of important significance for flood management and particularly for the res-ervoirs operation and associated risks of failures. The procedure presented in this paper (as applied on a set of compatibly shaped hydrographs) involves the following key stages: (i) normalize the floods, (ii) define similar flood shape classes and (iii) evaluate the average dimensionless flood (ADF) for each class. The ADFs are finally transformed into a set of (DF)s. Many statistical distributions approximate acceptably the frequent values of the maximum discharges or the flood volumes, yet displaying a significant spread for medium or rare probabilities of exceedance (PE). This scattering, which can be explained by the epistemic uncertainty, defines an area of uncertainty both for measured and extrapolated values. In considering upper and lower values of the uncertainty in-tervals as limits for maximum discharges and flood volumes, then by combining them compatibly, a set of DFs - as completely defined hydrographs, with different shapes - results for each PE. The herein proposed procedure defines both one peak DF and multi-peaks DF. Subsequently, such DFs do assist water managers in examining and establishing tailored approaches for a variety of input hydrographs. Among the DFs that would correspond to a same PE, the most compact floods arise a special interest, for they are basic in defining the set of safe operation rules for hydraulic structures.


Annual Maximum Series; Peak Over Threshold; uncertainty interval; flood parameters; compactness coefficient; flood shape


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

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