Techniques for estimating monthly streamflow-duration characteristics at ungaged and partial-record sites in central Nevada have been updated. These techniques were developed using streamflow records at six continuous-record sites, basin physical and climatic characteristics, and concurrent streamflow measurements at four partial-record sites.
Two methods, the basin-characteristic method and the concurrent-measurement method, were developed to provide estimating techniques for selected streamflow characteristics at ungaged and partial-record sites in central Nevada. In the first method, logarithmic-regression analyses were used to relate monthly mean streamflows (from all months and by month) from continuous-record gaging sites of various percent exceedence levels or monthly mean streamflows (by month) to selected basin physical and climatic variables at ungaged sites. Analyses indicate that the total drainage area and percent of drainage area at altitudes greater than 10,000 feet are the most significant variables. For the equations developed from all months of monthly mean streamflow, the coefficient of determination averaged 0.84 and the standard error of estimate of the relations for the ungaged sites averaged 72 percent. For the equations derived from monthly means by month, the coefficient of determination averaged 0.72 and the standard error of estimate of the relations averaged 78 percent. If standard errors are compared, the relations developed in this study appear generally to be less accurate than those developed in a previous study. However, the new relations are based on additional data and the slight increase in error may be due to the wider range of streamflow for a longer period of record, 1995-2000.
In the second method, streamflow measurements at partial-record sites were correlated with concurrent streamflows at nearby gaged sites by the use of linear-regression techniques. Statistical measures of results using the second method typically indicated greater accuracy than for the first method. However, to make estimates for individual months, the concurrent-measurement method requires several years additional streamflow data at more partial-record sites. Thus, exceedence values for individual months are not yet available due to the low number of concurrent-streamflow-measurement data available. Reliability, limitations, and applications of both estimating methods are described herein.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Updated techniques for estimating monthly streamflow-duration characteristics at ungaged and partial-record sites in central Nevada