Stochastic simulation is widely applied for estimating the design flood of various hydrosystems. The design flood at a reservoir site should consider the impact of upstream reservoirs, along with any development of hydropower. This paper investigates and applies a stochastic simulation approach for determining the design flood of a complex cascade of reservoirs in the Longtan watershed, southern China. The magnitude of the design flood when the impact of the upstream reservoirs is considered is less than that without considering them. In particular, the stochastic simulation model takes into account both systematic and historical flood records. As the reliability of the frequency analysis increases with more representative samples, it is desirable to incorporate historical flood records, if available, into the stochastic simulation model. This study shows that the design values from the stochastic simulation method with historical flood records are higher than those without historical flood records. The paper demonstrates the advantages of adopting a stochastic flow simulation approach to address design-flood-related issues for a complex cascade reservoir system.

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