The Kansas State Legislature, by enacting Kansas Statute KSA 82a-2001 et. seq., mandated the criteria for determining which Kansas stream segments would be subject to classification by the State. One criterion for the selection as a classified stream segment is based on the statistic of median flow being equal to or greater than 1 cubic foot per second. As specified by KSA 82a-2001 et. seq., median flows were determined from U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging-station data by using the most-recent 10-years of gaged data (KSA) for each streamflow-gaging station. Median flows also were determined by using gaged data from the entire period of record (all-available hydrology, AAH). Least-squares multiple regression techniques were used, along with Tobit analyses, to develop equations for estimating median flows for uncontrolled stream segments. The drainage area of the uncontrolled gaging stations used in the regression analyses ranged from 2.06 to 12,004 square miles. A logarithmic transformation of the data was needed to develop the best linear relation for computing median flows. In the regression analyses, the significant climatic and basin characteristics, in order of importance, were drainage area, mean annual precipitation, mean basin permeability, and mean basin slope. Tobit analyses of KSA data yielded a root mean square error of 0.285 logarithmic units, and the best equations using Tobit analyses of AAH data had a root mean square error of 0.247 logarithmic units. These equations and an interpolation procedure were used to compute median flows for the uncontrolled stream segments on the Kansas Surface Water Register. Measured median flows from gaging stations were incorporated into the regression-estimated median flows along the stream segments where available. The segments that were uncontrolled were interpolated using gaged data weighted according to the drainage area and the bias between the regression-estimated and gaged flow information. On controlled reaches of Kansas streams, the median flow information was interpolated between gaging stations using only gaged data weighted by drainage area. Of the 2,232 total stream segments on the Kansas Surface Water Register, 30 percent of the segments had an estimated median streamflow of less than 1 cubic foot per second when the KSA analysis was used. When the AAH analysis was used, 40 percent of the segments had an estimated median streamflow of less than 1 cubic foot per second.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Estimates of median flows for streams on the Kansas surface water register