Peak-flow annual exceedance probabilities, also called probability-percent chance flow estimates, and regional regression equations are provided describing the peak-flow characteristics of Virginia streams. Statistical methods are used to evaluate peak-flow data. Analysis of Virginia peak-flow data collected from 1895 through 2007 is summarized. Methods are provided for estimating unregulated peak flow of gaged and ungaged streams. Station peak-flow characteristics identified by fitting the logarithms of annual peak flows to a Log Pearson Type III frequency distribution yield annual exceedance probabilities of 0.5, 0.4292, 0.2, 0.1, 0.04, 0.02, 0.01, 0.005, and 0.002 for 476 streamgaging stations. Stream basin characteristics computed using spatial data and a geographic information system are used as explanatory variables in regional regression model equations for six physiographic regions to estimate regional annual exceedance probabilities at gaged and ungaged sites. Weighted peak-flow values that combine annual exceedance probabilities computed from gaging station data and from regional regression equations provide improved peak-flow estimates. Text, figures, and lists are provided summarizing selected peak-flow sites, delineated physiographic regions, peak-flow estimates, basin characteristics, regional regression model equations, error estimates, definitions, data sources, and candidate regression model equations. This study supersedes previous studies of peak flows in Virginia.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Peak-flow characteristics of Virginia streams
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey, Richmond, VA, Virginia Water Science Center, West Virginia Water Science Center