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Use of flow-duration curves to evaluate effects of urbanization on streamflow patterns on Long Island, New York

Water-Resources Investigations Report 80-114

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Abstract

Streamflow patterns on Long Island, N.Y., have been changing over the last three decades in response to eastward population growth and urbanization. Flow-duration curves for nine streams in Nassau and Suffolk Counties indicate that, during this time, streams in urbanized areas have had increased peak flows and decreased base flows, whereas streams in sparsely populated areas have shown little or no change. The increase in peak flows reflects the greater volume of storm runoff from impermeable surfaces such as roads, parking lots, and roofs. The decrease in base flows results from the lowering of groundwater levels, principally by sanitary sewerage and extensive pumping for public water supply. At East Meadow Brook, in a sewered, densely populated area of Nassau County, peak flows (1-percent duration) increased by 41% during 1946-74, and base flows (98-percent duration) decreased by 99%. In contrast, peak and base flows of Carmans River, in a largely undisturbed, rural area of Suffolk County, showed fluctuations no greater than 19% during the same period. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Use of flow-duration curves to evaluate effects of urbanization on streamflow patterns on Long Island, New York
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
80-114
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
iv, 19 p. :ill., map ;29 cm.