Low-flow frequency and flow duration of selected South Carolina streams in the Savannah and Salkehatchie River Basins through March 2014

Open-File Report 2016-1101
Prepared in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
By:  and 

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Abstract

An ongoing understanding of streamflow characteristics of the rivers and streams in South Carolina is important for the protection and preservation of the State’s water resources. Information concerning the low-flow characteristics of streams is especially important during critical flow periods, such as during the historic droughts that South Carolina has experienced in the past few decades.

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, initiated a study to update low-flow statistics at continuous-record streamgaging stations operated by the U.S. Geological Survey in South Carolina. This report presents the low-flow statistics for 28 selected streamgaging stations in the Savannah and Salkehatchie River Basins in South Carolina. The low-flow statistics include daily mean flow durations for the 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 75-, 90-, and 95-percent probability of exceedance and the annual minimum 1-, 3-, 7-, 14-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day mean flows with recurrence intervals of 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50 years, depending on the length of record available at the streamgaging station. The low-flow statistics were computed from records available through March 31, 2014.

Low-flow statistics are influenced by length of record, hydrologic regime under which the data were collected, analytical techniques used, and other factors, such as urbanization, diversions, and droughts that may have occurred in the basin. To assess changes in the low-flow statistics from the previously published values, a comparison of the low-flow statistics for the annual minimum 7-day average streamflow with a 10-year recurrence interval (7Q10) from this study was made with the most recently published values. Of the 28 streamgaging stations for which recurrence interval computations were made, 14 streamgaging stations were suitable for comparing to low-flow statistics that were previously published in U.S. Geological Survey reports. These comparisons indicated that seven of the streamgaging stations had values lower than the previous values, two streamgaging stations had values higher than the previous values, and two streamgaging stations had values that were unchanged from previous values. The remaining three stations for which previous 7Q10 values were computed, which are located on the main stem of the Savannah River, were not compared with current estimates because of differences in the way the pre-regulation and regulated flow data were analyzed.

Suggested Citation

Feaster, T.D., and Guimaraes, W.B., 2016, Low-flow frequency and flow duration of selected South Carolina streams in the Savannah and Salkehatchie River Basins through March 2014 (ver. 1.1, November 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1101, 62 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161101.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract 
  • Introduction
  • Low-Flow Statistics
  • Analytical Considerations
  • Considerations for Accuracy of Low-Flow Statistics
  • Comparison With Previously Published Low-Flow Statistics
  • Summary
  • Selected References

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Low-flow frequency and flow duration of selected South Carolina streams in the Savannah and Salkehatchie River Basins through March 2014
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1101
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161101
Edition Version 1.0: Originally posted July 14, 2016; Version 1.1: November 14, 2016
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description vi, 62 p.
Country United States
State South Carolina
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y