A general probability distribution is derived using the entropy theory. This distribution is versatile in that it specializes into a number of well-known probability distributions which are commonly employed in hydrology and environmental engineering. The generalized probability distribution can be used for hydrologic frequency analysis, with particular application to construction of IDF curves, estimation of flood quantiles, flood damage assessment, determination of return periods of droughts, and so on. Likewise, it can be applied to hydrologic design of storm sewers, culverts, drainage structures, detention ponds, levees, and spillways. The distribution can also be employed for synthetic generation of streamflow data which is needed for reservoir planning and operation, water resources planning, drought forecasting. Parameters of the distribution are derived from the specified information. The methodology employed here can be extended to deriving bivariate and multivariate distributions for hydrologic frequency analyses.
Keywords: Entropy theory; Frequency analysis; Probability distribution; Hydrologic extremes
Biography: Professor V. P. Singh holds the Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering and is a Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and a Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A & M University. He received his B. S., M. S., Ph. D. and D.Sc. degrees in engineering; and has widely published in the areas of hydrology, hydraulics, irrigation engineering, environmental engineering, and water resources.