PROGRAMS AND PLANS - Branch Policy on Maximum-Probable Flood


In Reply Refer to:                                         November 22, 1976
EGS-Mail Stop 415



SURFACE WATER TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 77.03

SUBJECT:  PROGRAMS AND PLANS - Branch Policy on Maximum-Probable
          Flood


Recently several reports have addressed or referred to a
"maximum-probable flood."

The term "maximum-probable flood" has a specific engineering
meaning and application.  It generally refers to the discharge
which is determined by assuming a rainfall of maximum magnitude
over a drainage basin and then routing the resultant excess
precipitation as streamflow to a site of interest.  No specific
probability of recurrence is assigned to such a flood discharge.
This technique, while having certain engineering application, has
very little value in a realistic evaluation of flood hazards and
therefore is outside the general scope of the Water Resources
Division mission of evaluating natural resources and hazards.





                                        Harry H. Barnes,  Jr.
                                        Chief, Surface Water Branch

WRD Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO