Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 5th:
Time: 4-5pm, Thursday (April. 5th); location: Dow 642, Public welcome
Topic: Climate Informed Flood Risk Projections
Presenter: Casey Fritsch, Master student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (Adviser: Dr. Veronica Griffis)
Abstract: Standard procedures for forecasting flood risk (Bulletin 17B) assume annual maximum flood (AMF) series are stationary, meaning the distribution of flood flows is not significantly affected by climatic trends/cycles, or anthropogenic activities within the watershed. Historical flood events are therefore considered representative of future flood occurrences, and the risk associated with a given flood magnitude is modeled as constant over time. However, in light of increasing evidence to the contrary, this assumption should be reconsidered, especially as the existence of nonstationarity in AMF series can have significant impacts on planning and management of water resources and relevant infrastructure. Research presented in this thesis quantifies the degree of nonstationarity evident in AMF series for unimpaired watersheds throughout the contiguous U.S., identifies meteorological, climatic, and anthropogenic causes of this nonstationarity, and proposes an extension of the Bulletin 17B methodology which yields forecasts of flood risk that reflect climatic influences on flood magnitude.