AFINCH (Analysis of Flows in Networks of CHannels) is a computer application that can be used to generate a time series of monthly flows at stream segments (flowlines) and water yields for catchments defined in the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus) value-added attribute system. AFINCH provides a basis for integrating monthly flow data from streamgages, water-use data, monthly climatic data, and land-cover characteristics to estimate natural monthly water yields from catchments by user-defined regression equations. Images of monthly water yields for active streamgages are generated in AFINCH and provide a basis for detecting anomalies in water yields, which may be associated with undocumented flow diversions or augmentations. Water yields are multiplied by the drainage areas of the corresponding catchments to estimate monthly flows. Flows from catchments are accumulated downstream through the streamflow network described by the stream segments. For stream segments where streamgages are active, ratios of measured to accumulated flows are computed. These ratios are applied to upstream water yields to proportionally adjust estimated flows to match measured flows. Flow is conserved through the NHDPlus network. A time series of monthly flows can be generated for stream segments that average about 1-mile long, or monthly water yields from catchments that average about 1 square mile. Estimated monthly flows can be displayed within AFINCH, examined for nonstationarity, and tested for monotonic trends. Monthly flows also can be used to estimate flow-duration characteristics at stream segments. AFINCH generates output files of monthly flows and water yields that are compatible with ArcMap, a geographical information system analysis and display environment. Chloropleth maps of monthly water yield and flow can be generated and analyzed within ArcMap by joining NHDPlus data structures with AFINCH output. Matlab code for the AFINCH application is presented.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Application Guide for AFINCH (Analysis of Flows in Networks of Channels) Described by NHDPlus