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Hydrology Research Vol 39 No 5–6 pp 385–401 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/nh.2008.025

Flood regimes in the Southern Caucasus: the influence of precipitation on mean annual floods and frequency curves

J. V. Sutcliffe, F. A. K. Farquharson, E. L. Tate and S. S. Folwell

Heath Barton, Manor Road, Goring on Thames, Near Reading RG8 9EH, UK
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK E-mail: frank.farquharson@btinternet.com
Wallingford Software Ltd, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BA, UK


ABSTRACT

Relations between mean annual flood estimates and basin area and precipitation, as well as dimensionless flood frequency curves, have been derived from a number of groups of gauging stations in the southern Caucasus. Total precipitation and its seasonal distribution are extremely variable at this location. The importance of antecedent soil moisture deficit (closely linked to the seasonal distribution of precipitation) in determining the shape of flood frequency curves is discussed through previous empirical studies and recent sensitivity analyses. The varying shape of regional curves from the southern Caucasus is related to the variations in soil moisture deficit.

Keywords: basin characteristics; dimensionless flood frequency curves; mean annual flood; soil moisture deficit; Southern Caucasus


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