• bivariate gamma distribution;
  • gamma distribution;
  • joint probability distribution;
  • conditional probability distribution;
  • joint return period;
  • conditional return period;
  • flood peak;
  • flood volume;
  • flood duration


A gamma distribution is one of the most frequently selected distribution types for hydrological frequency analysis. The bivariate gamma distribution with gamma marginals may be useful for analysing multivariate hydrological events. This study investigates the applicability of a bivariate gamma model with five parameters for describing the joint probability behavior of multivariate flood events. The parameters are proposed to be estimated from the marginal distributions by the method of moments. The joint distribution, the conditional distribution, and the associated return periods are derived from marginals. The usefulness of the model is demonstrated by representing the joint probabilistic behaviour between correlated flood peak and flood volume and between correlated flood volume and flood duration in the Madawask River basin in the province of Quebec, Canada. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.