Performance of regional flood frequency analysis methods in kwazulu-natal, south africa
Bioresources Engineering, School of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, South Africa; Jeffares and Green (Pty) Ltd, 6 Pin Oak Avenue, Hilton, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Estimates of design floods are required for the design of hydraulic structures and to quantify the risk of failure of the structures. Many international studies have shown that design floods estimated using a regionalised method result in more reliable estimates of design floods than values computed from a single site or from other methods. A number of regional flood frequency analysis (RFFA) methods have been developed, which cover all or parts of South Africa. These include methods developed by Van Bladeren (1993), Mkhandi et al. (2000), Görgens (2007) and Haile (2011). The performance of these methods has been assessed at selected flow-gauging sites in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. It is recommended that the limitations of available flow records to estimate extreme flow events need to be urgently addressed. From the results for KZN the JPV method, with a regionalised GEV distribution with the veld zone regionalisation, generally gave the best performance when compared to design floods estimated from the annual maximum series extracted from the observed data. It is recommended that the performance of the various RFFA methods needs to be assessed at a national scale and that a more detailed regionalisation be used in the development of an updated RFFA method for South Africa. © 2015, South African Water Research Commission. All rights reserved.
Design; Flood control; Rain; Annual maximum series; GEV distributions; International studies; Kwazulu-Natal; Regional flood frequency analysis; Regionalisation; Reliable estimates; Risk of failure; Floods; design flood; extreme event; failure analysis; flood frequency; flow pattern; frequency analysis; gauge; hydraulic structure; performance assessment; regional planning; risk assessment; KwaZulu-Natal; South Africa