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In the winter of 1997-98, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Flood Control District of Maricopa County, made six verification measurements for Manning's roughness coefficients at Skunk Creek above Interstate 17. Data from four floodflows were recorded and analyzed, three of these flows occurred in February 1998 when Arizona received precipitation from the El Nino weather phenomenon. Discharges ranged from 187 to 760 cubic feet per second and resultant verified values for Manning's roughness coefficient, n, ranged from 0.056 to 0.039. Skunk Creek above Interstate 17 - an ephemeral wash within a flood-control structure - is overgrown with desert brush throughout the main channel and the presence of the vegetation has a significant effect on n values throughout the reach. The results of this study are verified roughness coefficients that can be transferred to similarly vegetated channels in Maricopa County and other arid and semiarid environments where roughness factors must be assessed for flood management or other purposes.
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Computed roughness coefficients for Skunk Creek above Interstate 17, Maricopa County, Arizona