Frequency analysis of shallow water tables for drainage applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In coastal areas with shallow aquifers, the minimum elevation of newly developed land is typically required to exceed the water-table elevation corresponding to a given return period. Determination of this regulatory water-table elevation usually requires a nonstationary frequency analysis of measured water-table elevations. In this paper, a simple and effective power-transform frequency-analysis procedure for extracting the requisite regulatory water-table elevation is presented and demonstrated. This procedure identifies the critical period yielding the maximum water-table elevation for a given return period, which is a robust regulatory elevation that might not need frequent updates. The assumptions underlying the proposed power-transform frequency-analysis procedure are shown to be valid at 23 of the 24 wells investigated in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 16 2011


  • Flood protection
  • Frequency analysis
  • Statistics
  • Water table

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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