Estimation of design flood is one of the important components of planning, design and operationof water resources projects. Information on flood magnitudes and their frequencies is needed for design of hydraulic structures such as dams, spillways, road and railway bridges, culverts, urbandrainage systems, flood plain zoning, economic evaluation of flood protection projects etc.Methods of flood estimation may be broadly divided into five categories viz. (i) flood formulaeand envelope curves, (ii) rational formula, (iii) flood frequency analysis, (iv) unit hydrographtechniques and (v) watershed models. The generally adopted methods of flood estimation are based on two types of approaches viz. (i) deterministic approach, and (ii) statistical approach.The deterministic approach is based on the hydro meteorological technique, which requiresdesign storm and the unit hydrograph for a catchment. The statistical approach is based on theflood frequency analysis using the observed annual maximum peak flood data. The choice of method depends on the design criteria applicable to the structure and availability of data.Hydrologic processes may be thought of as stochastic processes. Annual maximum daily rainfallserves as example of stochastic hydrologic process. Hydrologic processes are continuous process. Determination of the probability distribution of yearly maximum and minimumdischarges is of fundamental importance in many water resource design problems.
In floodfrequency analysis, the objective is to establish a flow magnitude (Q) corresponding to anyrequired return period (T) of occurrence. That is, a past record is fit with a statistical distributionfunction, which is then used to make inferences about future events. Identification of the truestatistical distributions for the various hydrologic and meteorological data sets (annual flood peaks and annual maximum daily rainfall) continues to be a major question facing engineers andscientists. An even greater problem facing hydrologists and meteorologists is the identification of the distribution form for regional data.1