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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

A tale of two stations: a note on rejecting the Gumbel distribution

Ryden, Jesper


The existence of an upper limit for extremes of quantities in the earth sciences, e.g. for river discharge or wind speed, is sometimes suggested. Estimated parameters in extreme-value distributions can assist in interpreting the behaviour of the system. Using simulation, this study investigated how sample size influences the results of statistical tests and related interpretations. Commonly used estimation techniques (maximum likelihood and probability-weighted moments) were employed in a case study; the results were applied in judging time series of annual maximum river flow from two stations on the same river, but with different lengths of observation records. The results revealed that sample size is crucial for determining the existence of an upper bound.


Extreme values; River discharge; GEV distribution; Sample size; Bootstrap

Published in

Acta Geophysica

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Probability Theory and Statistics
Water Engineering

Publication Identifiers


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