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Synthesis of natural flows at selected sites in and near the Milk River basin, Montana, 1928-89

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4022

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Abstract

Natural monthly streamflows were synthesized for the years 1928-89 at 2 sites in the St. Mary River Basin and 11 sites in the Milk River Basin in north- central Montana. The sites are represented as nodes in a streamflow accounting model being developed by the Bureau of Reclamation for the Milk River Basin. Recorded flows at most sites have been affected by human activities, including reservoir storage and irrigation diversions. The flows at the model nodes were corrected for the effects of these activities to obtain synthesized flows. The synthesized flows at nodes with seasonal and short-term records were extended using a statistical technique. The methods of synthesis varied, depending on upstream activities and information available. Flows at sites in the St. Mary River Basin and at the Milk River at Eastern Crossing of International Boundary pre- viously had been synthesized. The flows at mainstem sites downstream from the Milk River at Eastern Crossing were synthesized by adding synthesized natural runoff from intervening drainage areas to natural flows for Milk River at Eastern Crossing. Natural runoff from intervening drainage areas was estimated by multiplying recorded flows at selected index gaging stations on tributary streams by the ratio of the intervening drainage area to the combined drainage area of the index stations. The recorded flows for Milk River at Western Crossing of International Boundary and for Peoples Creek near Dodson, Montana, were assumed to be natural flows. The synthesized annual flows at the mouth of the Milk River compared favorably with the recorded flows near the mouth when the effects of upstream irrigation were considered.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Synthesis of natural flows at selected sites in and near the Milk River basin, Montana, 1928-89
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
95-4022
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1995
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
iv, 42 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.