Abstract

Flood frequency analysis could be a tool to help decision-makers to size hydraulic structures. To this end, this article aims to compare two analysis methods to see how rare an extreme hydrometeorological event is, and what could be its return period. This event caused many deadly floods in southwestern Morocco. It was the result of unusual atmospheric conditions, characterized by a very low atmospheric pressure off the Moroccan coast and the passage of the jet stream further south. Assessment of frequency and return period of this extreme event is performed in a High Atlas watershed (the Ghdat Wadi) using historical floods. We took into account, on the one hand, flood peak flows and, on the other hand, flood water volumes. Statistically, both parameters are better adjusted respectively to Gamma and Log Normal distributions. However, the peak flow approach underestimates the return period of long-duration hydrographs that do not have a high peak flow, like the 2014 event. The latter is indeed better evaluated, as a rare event, by taking into account the flood water volumes. Therefore, this parameter should not be omitted in the calculation of flood probabilities for watershed management and the sizing of flood protection infrastructure.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.