Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 133, Issue 3–4, pp 1219–1233 | Cite as

Application of distribution-free nonstationary regional frequency analysis based on L-moments

  • Jang Hyun Sung
  • Young-Oh Kim
  • Jong-June JeonEmail author
Original Paper


Regional frequency analysis (RFA) based on L-moments is widely used in the analysis of hydrological process. However, L-moments are defined by order statistics from a stationary distribution and thus theoretically good properties of RFA do not hold under a nonstationary distribution. In this study, a procedure was proposed for an RFA based on L-moments for nonstationary hydrological processes. The proposed method uses a distribution-free de-trended method to apply the conventional RFA based on L-moments. The conventional and the proposed RFAs for annual maximum precipitation in South Korea were compared, and the simulation results indicated that the proposed RFA could provide proper information regarding heterogeneity in a nonstationary distribution. The estimated results of return levels, the median in the nonstationary RFA, were higher than in the conventional RFA.



Annual maximum precipitation


Annual maximum 24-h precipitation


Annual maximum 6-h precipitation


Generalized extreme value


Generalized logistic


Generalized normal


Generalized Pareto


Maximum likelihood estimator


Pearson type 3


Probability-weighted moment


Regional frequency analysis



This study was supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment under the “Climate Change Correspondence Program” (project number: 2014001310007). Also, this work was supported by the 2016 Research Fund of the University of Seoul for Jong-June Jeon (award number: 201604271097).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Han River Flood Control OfficeSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsUniversity of SeoulSeoulRepublic of Korea

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