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Estimation of daily mean streamflow for ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin, water years 1960–2010

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5157

National Water Census
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ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20155157

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Abstract

The ability to characterize baseline streamflow conditions, compare them with current conditions, and assess effects of human activities on streamflow is fundamental to water-management programs addressing water allocation, human-health issues, recreation needs, and establishment of ecological flow criteria. The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Water Census, has developed the Delaware River Basin Streamflow Estimator Tool (DRB-SET) to estimate baseline (minimally altered) and altered (affected by regulation, diversion, mining, or other anthropogenic activities) and altered streamflow at a daily time step for ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin for water years 1960–2010. Daily mean baseline streamflow is estimated by using the QPPQ method to equate streamflow expressed as a percentile from the flow-duration curve (FDC) for a particular day at an ungaged stream location with the percentile from a FDC for the same day at a hydrologically similar gaged location where streamflow is measured. Parameter-based regression equations were developed for 22 exceedance probabilities from the FDC for ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin. Water use data from 2010 is used to adjust the baseline daily mean streamflow generated from the QPPQ method at ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin to reflect current, or altered, conditions. To evaluate the effectiveness of the overall QPPQ method contained within DRB-SET, a comparison of observed and estimated daily mean streamflows was performed for 109 reference streamgages in and near the Delaware River Basin. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) values were computed as a measure of goodness of fit. The NSE values (using log10 streamflow values) ranged from 0.22 to 0.98 (median of 0.90) for 45 streamgages in the Upper Delaware River Basin and from -0.37 to 0.98 (median of 0.79) for 41 streamgages in the Lower Delaware River Basin.

Suggested Citation

Stuckey, M.H., 2016, Estimation of daily mean streamflow for ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin, water years 1960–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5157, 42 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155157.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract 
  • Introduction
  • Estimation of Baseline Daily Mean Streamflow
  • Estimation of Altered Daily Mean Streamflow
  • Use of DRB-SET for Estimating Baseline and Altered Daily Mean Streamflow at Ungaged Stream Locations
  • Accuracy and Limitations of Estimated Streamflow
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Reference streamgages with record extension techniques applied
  • Appendix 2. Basin characteristics used in the development of flow-duration exceedance probability regression equations for the Delaware River Basin
  • Appendix 3. Observed and predicted flow-duration exceedance probability discharges for streamgages used in regression analysis

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Estimation of daily mean streamflow for ungaged stream locations in the Delaware River Basin, water years 1960–2010
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2015-5157
DOI:
10.3133/sir20155157
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
v, 42 p.
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Delaware River Basin
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N