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Flow-duration curves

Water Supply Paper 1542-A

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Abstract

The flow-duration curve is a cumulative frequency curve that shows the percent of time specified discharges were equaled or exceeded during a given period. It combines in one curve the flow characteristics of a stream throughout the range of discharge, without regard to the sequence of occurrence. If the period upon which the curve is based represents the long-term flow of a stream, the curve may be used to predict the distribution of future flows for water- power, water-supply, and pollution studies. This report shows that differences in geology affect the low-flow ends of flow-duration curves of streams in adjacent basins. Thus, duration curves are useful in appraising the geologic characteristics of drainage basins. A method for adjusting flow-duration curves of short periods to represent long-term conditions is presented. The adjustment is made by correlating the records of a short-term station with those of a long-term station.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Flow-duration curves
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
1542
Chapter:
A
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1959
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
Description:
iv, 33 p. :ill. ;24 cm.; Reprinted 1963