Return period

A return period, also known as a recurrence interval or repeat interval, is an average time or an estimated average time between events such as earthquakes, floods,[1] landslides,[2] or river discharge flows to occur.

It is a statistical measurement typically based on historic data over an extended period, and is used usually for risk analysis. Examples include deciding whether a project should be allowed to go forward in a zone of a certain risk or designing structures to withstand events with a certain return period. The following analysis assumes that the probability of the event occurring does not vary over time and is independent of past events.

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