Flood Frequency Analysis Using MS Excel

Siddharth Saksena, Purdue University-Main Campus
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In this unit, students learn about flood frequency analysis, and how to create flood frequency plots from annual maximum series using MS Excel.

Intended Audience

This unit is intended for upper level undergraduate or lower level graduate students in hydrology, environmental engineering/sciences and geology/earth sciences.

Conceptual Learning Outcomes

  • Students understand the concept of fitting distribution to annual maximum series
  • Students understand flood frequency plotting

Practical Learning Outcomes

  • Students can access and download peak streamflow data from USGS website for any gauging station
  • Students can perform complex computations and data analysis using MS Excel

Student Time Required

1 hour 30 min

Supporting Reference Documents and Files


This unit comprises of three steps. In Step 1, students are briefly introduced to flood frequency analysis. In Step 2, students download annual maximum series for a USGS gauging station, and in Step 2, students create flood frequency plot to related the flood magnitude to return period.

Steps within this lesson