The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Council, conducted a study to characterize regional low flows during 1932?2007 in the Mississippi River upstream from the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota and to describe the low-flow profile of the Mississippi River between the confluence of the Crow River and St. Anthony Falls. Probabilities of extremely low flow were estimated for the streamflow-gaging station (Mississippi River near Anoka) and the coincidence of low-flow periods, defined as the extended periods (at least 7 days) when all the daily flows were less than the 10th percentile of daily mean flows for the entire period of record, at four selected streamflow-gaging stations located upstream. The likelihood of extremely low flows was estimated by a superposition method for the Mississippi River near Anoka that created 5,776 synthetic hydrographs resulting in a minimum synthetic low flow of 398 cubic feet per second at a probability of occurrence of 0.0002 per year. Low-flow conditions at the Mississippi River above Anoka were associated with low-flow conditions at two or fewer of four upstream streamflow-gaging stations 42 percent of the time, indicating that sufficient water is available within the basin for many low flows and the occurrence of extremely low-flows is small. However, summer low-flow conditions at the Mississippi River above Anoka were almost always associated with low-stage elevations in three or more of the six upper basin reservoirs. A low-flow profile of the Mississippi River between the confluence of the Crow River and St. Anthony Falls was completed using a real-time kinematic global positioning system, and the water-surface profile was mapped during October 8?9, 2008, and annotated with local landmarks. This was done so that water-use planners could relate free-board elevations of selected water utility structures to the lowest flow conditions during 2008.
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USGS Numbered Series
Low-flow characteristics of the Mississippi River upstream from the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, 1932-2007