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Monotonic upward trends in annual mean streamflows and annual 7-day low flows were identified statistically for the streamflow-gaging station on the Chagrin River at Willoughby, Ohio. No monotonic trends were identified for the annual peak streamflow series or partial-duration series of peak streamflows augmented with annual peak streamflows that did not exceed a base discharge of 4,000 cubic feet per second.
A plot of cumulative departure of annual precipitation from the long-term mean annual precipitation for the weather-observation station at Hiram, Ohio, indicates a relatively dry period extending from about 1910 to about 1968, followed by a relatively wet period extending from about 1968 to the late 1990s. A plot of cumulative departure of annual mean streamflow from the mean annual streamflow for the Chagrin River at Willoughby, Ohio, closely mimics the shape of the precipitation departure plot, indicating that the annual mean streamflows increased in concert with annual precipitation. These synchronous trends likely explain why upward trends in annual mean streamflows and annual 7-day low flows were observed. A lack of trend in peak streamflows indicates that the intensity and severity of flood-producing storms did not increase appreciably along with the increases in annual precipitation.
An analysis of point-of-zero-flow data indicates that the low-water control of the Chagrin River streamflow-gaging station tended to aggrade over the period 1930?93; however, the magnitude of aggradation is sufficiently small that its effect on stages of moderate to large floods would be negligible.
Stage values associated with reference streamflows of 500 and 5,000 cubic feet per second tended to remain fairly stable during the period from about 1950 to 1970 and then decreased slightly during the period from about 1970 to 1980, suggesting that the flood-carrying capacity of the stream increased somewhat during the latter period. Since a large flood on May 26, 1989, significant changes have occurred in the relation between stage and streamflow. The most recent relation indicates that stage values associated with streamflows of 500 and 5,000 cubic feet per second are about 0.5 foot and 0.1 foot higher, respectively, than the pre-1989 levels.
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Trends in selected streamflow and stream-channel characteristics for the Chagrin River at Willoughby, Ohio