Probability of streamflow permanence model (PROSPER): A spatially continuous model of annual streamflow permanence throughout the Pacific Northwest

Journal of Hydrology X
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions for 2004-2016 at a 30-m spatial resolution based on monthly or annually updated values of climatic conditions and static physiographic variables associated with the upstream basin. Predictions correspond to any pixel on the channel network consistent with the medium resolution National Hydrography Dataset channel network stream grid. Total annual precipitation and percent forest cover were consistently the most important predictor variables among global and most subregional models, which had error rates between 17 and 22%. Probabilities were converted to wet and dry streamflow permanence classes with an associated confidence. Wet and dry classifications were used to derive descriptors that characterize the statistical and spatial distribution of streamflow permanence in three focal basins. Predicted dry channel segments account for 52 to 92% of the stream network across the three focal basins; streamflow permanence decreased during climatically drier years. Predictions are publicly available through the USGS StreamStats platform. Results demonstrate the utility of the PROSPER model as a tool for identifying areas that may be resilient or sensitive to drought conditions, allowing for management efforts that target protecting critical reaches. Importantly, PROSPER’s successful predictive performance can be improved with new datasets of streamflow permanence underscoring the importance of field observations.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Probability of streamflow permanence model (PROSPER): A spatially continuous model of annual streamflow permanence throughout the Pacific Northwest
Series title Journal of Hydrology X
DOI 10.1016/j.hydroa.2018.100005
Edition Online First
Volume 2
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosys Science Center, Idaho Water Science Center, Oregon Water Science Center, Washington Water Science Center, Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center
Description Article 100005
Country United States
State Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington
Online Only (Y/N) N
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