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Volume :33 Issue : 125 2007      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Regional Flood Frequency Curve for Some Internal Wadis in Saudi Arabia

Auther : Dr. Assaf A. AL- hawas

     Saudi Arabia covers a vast area in the southwest Asia.  It extends between latitudes 16-33 N, and between longitudes 34-56 E.  Seldom-rainy events in Saudi Arabia, are driven by three mechanisms:  Firstly, are the middle latitude winter cyclonic activities passing over the eastern Mediterranean coasts.  Secondly, are the summer south-westerly monsoon winds blowing towards the seasonal central Asian low pressure.  Thirdly, are the intense thunderstorms initiated by local thermal convections,.  Uncertainty associated with rainy events is intensified when reflected on ephemeral stream runoffs in the country.  That is because runoff is not only dependent on rain incidents but on their anomalous magnitudes and intensities.

     Floods, among all natural hazards, cause the highest percentage of deaths around the world ( Cunderlik, Burn, 2003 ).  In a rapidly growing country like Saudi Arabia flood data are essential for decision makers, following the vast horizontal growth of major cities and villages to cover areas that have never been populated before.  It is also important for the increasing number of road building projects.  For sustainable development, the need is certain for a fast and reliable method of estimating drainage basin runoff for un-gauged stations based on available data.  As a step into that direction this papers aim is developing flood regional curves for internal wadis of Saudi Arabia utilizing the available runoff records and using the standard procedures used by USGS, as outlined in Bulletin 17 B of Interagency committee on water resources.  Five catchments for which systematic flood records were available for more than twenty years are investigated.  A representative regional curve was developed, after checking for homogeneity, and correcting for outliers and zero values.  The slope coefficient of the relationship between drainage area and mean annual flood was estimated to be 0.335.

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