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Estimates of monthly streamflow characteristics at selected sites in the upper Missouri River basin, Montana, base period water years 1937-86

Water-Resources Investigations Report 89-4082

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Abstract

Estimates of streamflow characteristics (monthly mean flow that is exceeded 90, 80, 50, and 20 percent of the time for all years of record and mean monthly flow) were made and are presented in tabular form for 312 sites in the Missouri River basin in Montana. Short-term gaged records were extended to the base period of water years 1937-86, and were used to estimate monthly streamflow characteristics at 100 sites. Data from 47 gaged sites were used in regression analysis relating the streamflow characteristics to basin characteristics and to active-channel width. The basin-characteristics equations, with standard errors of 35% to 97%, were used to estimate streamflow characteristics at 179 ungaged sites. The channel-width equations, with standard errors of 36% to 103%, were used to estimate characteristics at 138 ungaged sites. Streamflow measurements were correlated with concurrent streamflows at nearby gaged sites to estimate streamflow characteristics at 139 ungaged sites. In a test using 20 pairs of gages, the standard errors ranged from 31% to 111%. At 139 ungaged sites, the estimates from two or more of the methods were weighted and combined in accordance with the variance of individual methods. When estimates from three methods were combined the standard errors ranged from 24% to 63 %. A drainage-area-ratio adjustment method was used to estimate monthly streamflow characteristics at seven ungaged sites. The reliability of the drainage-area-ratio adjustment method was estimated to be about equal to that of the basin-characteristics method. The estimate were checked for reliability. Estimates of monthly streamflow characteristics from gaged records were considered to be most reliable, and estimates at sites with actual flow record from 1937-86 were considered to be completely reliable (zero error). Weighted-average estimates were considered to be the most reliable estimates made at ungaged sites. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Estimates of monthly streamflow characteristics at selected sites in the upper Missouri River basin, Montana, base period water years 1937-86
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
89-4082
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1989
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey ; Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
iv, 103 p. :ill. ;28 cm.