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Revised techniques for estimating peak discharges from channel width in Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4121

By:
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Abstract

This study was conducted to develop new estimating equations based on channel width and the updated flood frequency curves of previous investigations. Simple regression equations for estimating peak discharges with recurrence intervals of 2, 5, 10 , 25, 50, and 100 years were developed for seven regions in Montana. The standard errors of estimates for the equations that use active channel width as the independent variables ranged from 30% to 87%. The standard errors of estimate for the equations that use bankfull width as the independent variable ranged from 34% to 92%. The smallest standard errors generally occurred in the prediction equations for the 2-yr flood, 5-yr flood, and 10-yr flood, and the largest standard errors occurred in the prediction equations for the 100-yr flood. The equations that use active channel width and the equations that use bankfull width were determined to be about equally reliable in five regions. In the West Region, the equations that use bankfull width were slightly more reliable than those based on active channel width, whereas in the East-Central Region the equations that use active channel width were slightly more reliable than those based on bankfull width. Compared with similar equations previously developed, the standard errors of estimate for the new equations are substantially smaller in three regions and substantially larger in two regions. Limitations on the use of the estimating equations include: (1) The equations are based on stable conditions of channel geometry and prevailing water and sediment discharge; (2) The measurement of channel width requires a site visit, preferably by a person with experience in the method, and involves appreciable measurement errors; (3) Reliability of results from the equations for channel widths beyond the range of definition is unknown. In spite of the limitations, the estimating equations derived in this study are considered to be as reliable as estimating equations based on basin and climatic variables. Because the two types of estimating equations are independent, results from each can be weighted inversely proportional to their variances, and averaged. The weighted average estimate has a variance less than either individual estimate. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Revised techniques for estimating peak discharges from channel width in Montana
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4121
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 34 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.