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Development of regression equations to estimate flow durations and low-flow-frequency statistics in New Hampshire streams

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4298

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Abstract

Regression equations and basin-characteristic digital datasets were developed to help water-resource managers estimate surface-water resources during periods of low flow in New Hampshire. The regression equations were developed to estimate statistics for the seasonal and annual low-flow-frequency and seasonal period-of-record and period-of-record flow durations. Because streamflow is maintained by ground-water discharge during periods of low flow, these equations also will aid in the assessment of ground-water availability. Ultimately, the equations and datasets developed herein can be combined with data on water withdrawals, discharges, and interbasin transfers in a geographic information system (GIS) to allow assessments of water use and water availability in any drainage basin in the State of New Hampshire. Regression equations developed in this study provide estimates of the seasonal (spring, summer, fall, and winter) and annual 7-day 2-year (7Q2) and 7-day 10-year (7Q10) low-flow-frequency values, as well as seasonal period-of-record and period-of-record flow durations (60-, 70-, 80-, 90-, 95-, and 98-percent exceedences) for ungaged reaches of unregulated New Hampshire streams. Regression equations were developed using seasonal and annual low-flow statistics from 58 to 60 continuous-record stream-gaging stations in New Hampshire and nearby areas in neighboring states, and measurements of various characteristics of the drainage basins that contribute flow to those stations. The estimating equations for the seasonal and annual 7Q2 and 7Q10 values were developed using generalized-least-squares (GLS) regression analyses. The GLS equations developed for these flow statistics gave average prediction errors that ranged from 11 to 61 percent. The estimating equations for flow-duration exceedence frequency values were developed using ordinary-least-squares (OLS) regression analysis. The OLS equations developed for these flow statistics gave average prediction errors ranging from 14 to 79 percent. A total of 93 measurable drainage-basin characteristics were selected as possible predictor variables. Of these 93 variables, the following 10 were determined to be statistically significant predictors for at least one of the dependent variables: drainage area, average basin slope, maximum basin elevation, average summer gage precipitation for 1961-90, average spring gage precipitation for 1961-90, average mean annual basin temperature for 1961-90, average mean summer basin temperature for 1961-90, average winter basin-centroid precipitation for 1961-90, percent of the basin that is coniferous, and percent of the basin that is mixed coniferous and deciduous. These 10 basin characteristics were selected because they were statistically significant based on several statistical parameters that evaluated which combination of characteristics contributed the most to the predictive accuracy of the regression-equation models. A GIS is required to measure the values of the predictor variables for the equations developed in this study.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Development of regression equations to estimate flow durations and low-flow-frequency statistics in New Hampshire streams
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2002-4298
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2003
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
viii, 66 p. : col. maps ; 28 cm.