Hydrological regionalization of maximum stream flows using an approach based on L-moments

<div><p>ABSTRACT The proper design of hydraulic structures depends on estimates of maximum stream flows. The scarce stream flow monitoring in Brazil has led to the use of regionalization methods. The main objective of this study was to develop a tool via regional function to estimate maximum stream flows and their corresponding return periods (RP) with the aid of techniques based on the L-moments method, seeking for adequate hydrologic engineering applications and flood risk management. Annual maximum stream flow historical series were adjusted to traditional 2-parameter probability density functions (PDFs) (Normal, 2-parameter Log-Normal, Gumbel, Gamma) and multiparameter PDFs (GEV and Kappa), based on the L-moments method, which were used in the development of the regional function employing the dimensionless curve method. The regional function’s predictive capability was determined by cross-validation for different RPs. It can be concluded that the approach based on L-moments was successfully used to adjust the regional function. In addition, the regional function: i) was improved when using the aforementioned multiparameter PDFs and ii) was framed as optimum for RP of up to 100 years and considered useful for practical engineering projects and flood risk management.</p></div>