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Flood elevation limits in the rocky mountains

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Abstract

An analysis of 77,987 station-years of streamflow-gaging station data from 3,748 stations in the Rocky Mountains indicates that there is a latitude-dependent elevation limit to substantial rainfall-produced flooding. The elevation limit ranges from about 1,650 m in Montana to about 2,350 m in New Mexico. Above this elevation limit, large rainfall-produced floods occur very infrequently and maximum unit discharge is 1.7 m3/s/km2 or less. Below this elevation limit, large-magnitude flooding is more common and maximum unit discharge ranges from to 30 m3/s/km2 in Idaho and Montana to 59 m3/s/km2 in New Mexico. These results emphasize the critical need for additional research to increase our knowledge of floods, and have important implications in water-resources investigations in the Rocky Mountains.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Flood elevation limits in the rocky mountains
ISBN 087262921X
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Publ by ASCE
Publisher location New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the Symposium on Engineering Hydrology
First page 180
Last page 185
Conference Title Proceedings of the Symposium on Engineering Hydrology
Conference Location San Francisco, CA, USA
Conference Date 25 July 1993 through 30 July 1993