Probabilistic Flood Hazard Analysis

Recorded On: 11/11/2021

  • Registration Closed

Risk analysis for dams and levees requires a probabilistic flood hazard analysis (PFHA) to estimate the magnitude and frequency for a range of floods. The resulting flood hazard curve is summarized by plots and tables of peak stage (or flow, volume, depth, duration) versus annual exceedance probability. PFHA requires a different knowledge base and skill set compared to the traditional approach of using a single design flood estimate, such as the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). The workshop provides an overview of methods and tools used to develop a flood hazard curve for use in a dam or levee risk analysis. The theory and fundamentals behind stochastic event flood models and Monte Carlo simulation are presented. A modeling framework and required inputs are provided for flow based PFHA models. The workshop emphasizes flow based methods. Precipitation based applications using NOAA Atlas 14 will also be presented. Example applications, exercises, and case histories provide students with some hands-on experience.

The target audience includes civil engineers and hydrologists who have education, knowledge, and experience in flood hydrology fundamentals such as performing flood frequency analysis following the Federal Guidelines and performing reservoir routings using standard methods and tools. The typical student should have a minimum of 2-5 years experience in flood hydrology. Students may have limited experience in risk analysis, but a basic understanding of risk analysis concepts is recommended.

Eligible for 8 PDHs

Brought to you in part by  


David Margo, P.E., USACE

Lead Civil Engineer, Risk Management Center

US Army Corps of Engineers

David Margo currently serves as a Lead Civil Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Risk Management Center. He provides technical leadership, oversight, and guidance in support of the dam and levee safety programs. The Risk Management Center is responsible for supporting the Corps of Engineers portfolio of more than 700 dams and more than 14,000 miles of levees.  The Risk Management Center provides technical services and advice both nationally and internationally.  

Mr. Margo spent the first part of his career working as a staff engineer for the Huntington District office of the Corps of Engineers performing dam break analysis, designing lock filling and emptying systems, and developing numerical models to estimate dam and levee risks. He then moved back to his hometown to work for the Pittsburgh District as a staff engineer for the District, a regional engineer for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, a national specialist for the Risk and Reliability Directorate, and finally as a dam and levee safety specialist for the Risk Management Center. He feels blessed to have worked on many interesting and challenging projects which include developing concept designs for the Panama Canal lock expansion, performing the first screening risk assessments for the Corps dam portfolio, and developing the Corps Levee Screening Tool.  

His primary interests include hydrology, hydraulics, risk assessment, and risk management. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.

Keil Neff

Principal Engineer


Keil Neff is a principal engineer at Stantec supporting dam and levee risk assessments by 
(i) quantifying risk and uncertainty;
(ii) developing and reviewing flood hazard information;
(iii) providing H&H subject matter expertise and co-facilitation support in risk assessments; and
(iv) leading downstream consequences studies to evaluate potential loss of life and economic damages that may result from dam/levee breaches. 

Keil's professional experience includes working at the Bureau of Reclamation where he led several Issue Evaluation, Corrective Action Studies, and Final Design projects and served on the Dam Safety Advisory Team. Keil served in a similar capacity at TVA, and initiated TVA’s downstream consequences and probabilistic flood hazard assessment programs.

Haden Smith

Senior Technical Specialist

US Army Corps of Engineers

Haden Smith is a senior technical specialist with the USACE Risk Management Center with more that 15 years of experience in hydraulic and hydrologic engineering and risk management. His experience in this position has included developing and advancing risk methodology, performing flood hazard assessments for high priority dams and levees, and developing flood hazard and risk analysis software, such as RMC-BestFit, -RFA, -RRFT, and -TotalRisk. Mr. Smith obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis, an M.S. in Risk Management from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and is currently finishing an M.S. in Economics from Colorado School of Mines.


Agree to terms to continue.
Agree to terms to continue. USSD Virtual Programs Code of Conduct
Online Workshop
10/26/2021 at 9:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021
10/26/2021 at 9:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021
Exercise 1 Flow Frequency Analysis Using RMC‐BestFit
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Exercise 2- RFA
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Online Workshop Day 2
10/27/2021 at 9:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021
10/27/2021 at 9:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021 Workshop Day 2
Final File Set
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Online Workshop Evaluation
2 Questions
PDH Certificate
8.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
8.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available