An investigation of flood-hydrograph characteristics for streams in urban Jefferson County, Kentucky, was made to obtain hydrologic information needed for waterresources management. Equations for estimating peak-discharge frequencies for ungaged streams in the county were developed by combining (1) long-term annual peakdischarge data and rainfall-runoff data collected from 1991 to 1995 in 13 urban basins and (2) long-term annual peak-discharge data in four rural basins located in hydrologically similar areas of neighboring counties. The basins ranged in size from 1.36 to 64.0 square miles. The U.S. Geological Survey Rainfall- Runoff Model (RRM) was calibrated for each of the urban basins. The calibrated models were used with long-term, historical rainfall and pan-evaporation data to simulate 79 years of annual peak-discharge data. Peak-discharge frequencies were estimated by fitting the logarithms of the annual peak discharges to a Pearson-Type III frequency distribution. The simulated peak-discharge frequencies were adjusted for improved reliability by application of bias-correction factors derived from peakdischarge frequencies based on local, observed annual peak discharges. The three-parameter and the preferred seven-parameter nationwide urban-peak-discharge regression equations previously developed by USGS investigators provided biased (high) estimates for the urban basins studied. Generalized-least-square regression procedures were used to relate peakdischarge frequency to selected basin characteristics. Regression equations were developed to estimate peak-discharge frequency by adjusting peak-dischargefrequency estimates made by use of the threeparameter nationwide urban regression equations. The regression equations are presented in equivalent forms as functions of contributing drainage area, main-channel slope, and basin development factor, which is an index for measuring the efficiency of the basin drainage system. Estimates of peak discharges for streams in the county can be made for the 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, and 100-year recurrence intervals by use of the regression equations. The average standard errors of prediction of the regression equations ranges from ? 34 to ? 45 percent. The regression equations are applicable to ungaged streams in the county having a specific range of basin characteristics.
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USGS Numbered Series
Estimation of peak-discharge frequency of urban streams in Jefferson County, Kentucky
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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