Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Veronica Griffis


United States federal agencies assess flood risk using Bulletin 17B procedures which assume annual maximum flood series are stationary. This represents a significant limitation of current flood frequency models as the flood distribution is thereby assumed to be unaffected by trends or periodicity of atmospheric/climatic variables and/or anthropogenic activities. The validity of this assumption is at the core of this thesis, which aims to improve understanding of the forms and potential causes of non-stationarity in flood series for moderately impaired watersheds in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern US. Prior studies investigated non-stationarity in flood series for unimpaired watersheds; however, as the majority of streams are located in areas of increasing human activity, relative and coupled impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors need to be considered such that non-stationary flood frequency models can be developed for flood risk forecasting over relevant planning horizons for large scale water resources planning and management.