NRFA Peak Flow Dataset Version 8 released

The National River Flow Archive has released an update to its peak flow dataset including the files for use in the WINFAP software for flood estimation. The dataset includes Annual Maxima (AMAX) and Peaks over Threshold (POT) data for 935 gauging stations which have been updated with an additional water year of data (October 2017 to September 2018) in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and for those stations previously included in the Period of Record Review in Scotland (released in Version 6 & 7). It also includes a period-of-record review of data and metadata for 20% of stations across the UK.

Download Version 8 of the NRFA peak flow dataset

As well as the additional water year of data and normal metadata updates, the Period of Record Review element provides an extensive evaluation for 162 stations in the Peak Flow Dataset. It covers:

  • Flow and stage data (including extension of recent and where applicable, early records)
  • Gaugings and ratings
  • Missing data periods
  • FEH Suitability
  • Metadata (station descriptions, station type, datum history, POT threshold, bankfull stage)
  • Unrepresentative data periods
  • Rejected data

A list of stations that were included in this year’s Data Review can be found in the release note.

The NRFA’s peak flow dataset provides flood data for 935 river flow gauging stations around the UK. The data can be used with the flood estimation methods set out in the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH), which is the industry standard for current flood estimation in the UK. The peak flow dataset has been shown to provide net economic benefits of almost £5.4 million per year in terms of costs saved by environmental consultants and regulators.

The peak flow data provided through this service originate from gauging stations operated by a range of UK hydrometric measuring authorities as is the case with other NRFA data. Maintenance of the NRFA peak flow dataset, including the latest update, is carried out under a collaborative project between the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure – Rivers, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

The updated NRFA peak flow dataset was released on 25th September 2019 and reflects the NRFA data holdings at this time. Version 8 of the NRFA peak flow dataset is the fifth version released since the NRFA took over the stewardship of the national peak flows database. Updated peak flow time series and metadata are now available to view on the NRFA website and can be found using the NRFA’s gauging station search tool.

More information about the update can be found in the Version 8 release note.