Streams in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province in West Virginia were classified as a single region on the basis of bankfull characteristics. Regression lines for annual peak flow and drainage area measured at streamgages in the study area at recurrence intervals between 1.2 and 1.7 years fell within the 99-percent confidence interval of the regression line for bankfull flow. Channel characteristics were intermediate among those from surrounding states and regions where comparable studies have been done.
The stream reaches that were surveyed were selected for apparent stability, and to represent gradients of drainage area, elevation, and mean annual precipitation. Profiles of high-water marks left by bankfull and near-bankfull peaks were surveyed, either as part of slope-area flow measurements at ungaged reaches, or to transfer known flow information to cross sections for gaged reaches. The slope-area measurements made it possible to include ungaged sites in the study, but still relate bankfull dimensions to peak flow and frequency.