A depth–duration–frequency analysis for short-duration rainfall events in England and Wales
This study presents a depth–duration–frequency (DDF) model, which is applied to the annual maxima of sub-hourly rainfall totals of selected stations in England and Wales. The proposed DDF model follows from the standard assumption that the block maxima are generalised extreme value (GEV) distributed. The model structure is based on empirical features of the observed data and the assumption that, for each site, the distribution of the rainfall maxima of all durations can be characterised by common lower bound and skewness parameters. Some basic relationships between the location and scale parameters of the GEV distributions are enforced to ensure that frequency estimates for different durations are consistent. The derived DDF curves give a good fit to the observed data. The rainfall depths estimated by the proposed model are then compared with the standard DDF models used in the United Kingdom. The proposed model performs well for the shorter return periods for which reliable estimates of the rainfall frequency can be obtained from the observed data, while the standard methods show more variable results. Although the standard methods used no or little sub-hourly data in their calibration, they give fairly reliable estimates for the estimated rainfall depths overall.