A previous study of flood magitudes and frequencies in Ohio concluded that existing regionalized flood equations may not be adequate for estimating peak flows in small basins that are heavily forested, surface mined, or located in northwestern Ohio.
In order to provide a large data base for improving estimation of flood peaks in these basins, 30 crest-stage gages were installed in 1977, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation, to provide a 10-year record of flood data
The study area consists of two distinct parts: Northwestern Ohio, which contains 8 sites, and southern and eastern Ohio, which contains 22 sites in small forested or surface-mined drainage basins. Basin characteristics were determined for all 30 sites for 1978 conditions.
Annual peaks were recorded or estimated for all 30 sites for water years 1978-82; an additional year of peak discharges was available at four sites. The 2-year (Q2) and 5-year (Q5) flood peaks were determined from these annual peaks.Q2 and Q5 values also were calculated using published regionalized regression equations for Ohio. The ratios of the observed to predicted 2-year (R2) and 5-year (R5) values were then calculated.
This study found that observed flood peaks aree lower than estimated peaks by a significant amount in surface-mined basins. The average ratios of observed to predicted R2 values are 0.51 for basins with more than 40 percent surface-minded land, and 0.68 for sites with any surface-mined land. The average R5 value is 0.55 for sites with more than 40 percent surface-minded land, and 0.61 for sites with any surface-mined land.
Estimated flood peaks from forested basins agree with the observed values fairly well. R2 values average 0.87 for sites with 20 percent or more forested land, but no surface-mined land, and R5 values average 0.96. If all sites with more than 20 percent forested land and some surface-mined land are considered, R2 the values average 0.86, and the R5 values average 0.82.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary evaluation of magnitude and frequency of floods in selected small drainage basins in Ohio