Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Findlay G. Edwards

Committee Member

Brian E. Haggard

Second Committee Member

Manuel D. Rossetti


Applied sciences, Earth sciences, Flood frequency analysis, L-moments, Tennessee


This study presents a regional frequency analysis of Tennessee using the well-known Bulletin-17B method standardly used in the United States and the relatively new and developing L-Moments methods. Flood frequency characteristics were defined for 416 gaging stations located primarily in rural and lightly developed areas of Tennessee. All the gaging stations have 10 or more years of record through 2006. Using the L-Moments method, the generalized extreme value distribution was identified as the most robust distribution for each of four hydrologic areas. Multiple regression equations were also calculated for estimating the flood frequency of ungaged, unregulated, rural streams in each of the four hydrologic areas of Tennessee. Regression equations were computed using the ordinary least squares regression procedure. The standard error of prediction for the regression equations were calculated and used to compare the Bulletin 17B and L-Moments methods. This is the first study to indicate that the L-Moments method is, on average, the better of the two methods tested for predicting flood frequency for unregulated streams and rivers in Tennessee.