Records of peak discharge at 183 sites were used to study flood frequency in Alaska. The vast size of Alaska, its great ranges of physiography, and the lack of data for much of the State precluded a comprehensive analysis of all flood determinants. Peak stream discharges, where gaging-station records were available, were analyzed for 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, 25-year, and 50-year average-recurrence intervals. A regional analysis of the flood characteristics by multiple-regression methods gave a set of equations that can be used to estimate floods of selected recurrence intervals up to 50 years for any site on any stream in Alaska. The equations relate floods to drainage-basin characteristics. The study indicates that in Alaska the 50-year flood can be estimated from 10-year gaging- station records with a standard error of 22 percent whereas the 50-year flood can be estimated from the regression equation with a standard error of 53 percent. Also, maximum known floods at more than 500 gaging stations and miscellaneous sites in Alaska were related to drainage-area size. An envelope curve of 500 cubic feet per second per square mile covered all but 2 floods in the State.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Flood frequency in Alaska
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Alaska District,