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Estimating annual high-flow statistics and monthly and seasonal low-flow statistics for ungaged sites on streams in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4114

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Abstract

Methods for estimating daily mean flow-duration statistics for seven regions in Alaska and low-flow frequencies for one region, southeastern Alaska, were developed from daily mean discharges for streamflow-gaging stations in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada. The 15-, 10-, 9-, 8-, 7-, 6-, 5-, 4-, 3-, 2-, and 1-percent duration flows were computed for the October-through-September water year for 222 stations in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada. The 98-, 95-, 90-, 85-, 80-, 70-, 60-, and 50-percent duration flows were computed for the individual months of July, August, and September for 226 stations in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada. The 98-, 95-, 90-, 85-, 80-, 70-, 60-, and 50-percent duration flows were computed for the season July-through-September for 65 stations in southeastern Alaska. The 7-day, 10-year and 7-day, 2-year low-flow frequencies for the season July-through-September were computed for 65 stations for most of southeastern Alaska. Low-flow analyses were limited to particular months or seasons in order to omit winter low flows, when ice effects reduce the quality of the records and validity of statistical assumptions. Regression equations for estimating the selected high-flow and low-flow statistics for the selected months and seasons for ungaged sites were developed from an ordinary-least-squares regression model using basin characteristics as independent variables. Drainage area and precipitation were significant explanatory variables for high flows, and drainage area, precipitation, mean basin elevation, and area of glaciers were significant explanatory variables for low flows. The estimating equations can be used at ungaged sites in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada where streamflow regulation, streamflow diversion, urbanization, and natural damming and releasing of water do not affect the streamflow data for the given month or season. Standard errors of estimate ranged from 15 to 56 percent for high-duration flow statistics, 25 to greater than 500 percent for monthly low-duration flow statistics, 32 to 66 percent for seasonal low-duration flow statistics, and 53 to 64 percent for low-flow frequency statistics.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Estimating annual high-flow statistics and monthly and seasonal low-flow statistics for ungaged sites on streams in Alaska and conterminous basins in Canada
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2003-4114
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2003
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
61 p.; 2 illus.; 1 plate; 9 tables