Small Basin Annual Yield and Percentage of Snowmelt Runoff in North Dakota, 1931–2016

Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5144
Prepared in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service—North Dakota
By:  and 

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Abstract

The North Dakota hydrology manual prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, presents methodologies primarily used for developing hydrology for onfarm conservation practices, watershed projects, Resource Conservation and Development project measures, and river basin studies. The manual includes data necessary for determining hydrologic factors and developing a design discharge for a given site and intended purpose. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the North Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service, developed methods to reproduce and update the annual yield maps for chapter 7 of the North Dakota hydrology manual. Annual yields, in acre-feet per square mile, for the 50- and 80-percent exceedance probabilities and expected percentage of snowmelt runoff isolines were estimated using U.S. Geological Survey streamflow data from 1931 to 2016 for 71 selected streamgages with drainage areas of 505 square miles or less. An application of a modified Maintenance of Variance Extension Type III was used to estimate missing annual streamflow volumes. An alternate expected percentage of snowmelt runoff isolines was estimated using High Plains Climatic Center precipitation and snowmelt data from 1931 to 2016 for 85 selected sites. The final expected percentage of snowmelt runoff isolines was estimated using streamflow data instead of precipitation and snowfall depth data. A snowmelt runoff seasonal period of March–May produced better isoline slopes than a November–May runoff seasonal period. Slopes of the expected percentage of snowmelt runoff isolines were sensitive to amounts of missing record. Suitable isoline slopes appeared when the missing record was set to 50 percent (43 years) and 66 percent (57 years) for the 86-year period of 1931–2016.

Suggested Citation

Williams-Sether, T., and Wheeling, S.L., 2020, Small basin annual yield and percentage of snowmelt runoff in North Dakota, 1931–2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5144, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195144.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction and Background
  • Purpose and Scope
  • Methods
  • Annual Yields and Percentage of Snowmelt Runoff
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Methods Used to Generate and Adjust Annual Streamflow Volumes Used in Move.3
  • Appendix 2. R Code Script and Supporting Data for the Modified Maintenance of Variance Extension Type III, MOVE.3, Application

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Small basin annual yield and percentage of snowmelt runoff in North Dakota, 1931–2016
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2019-5144
DOI 10.3133/sir20195144
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Dakota Water Science Center
Description Report: vii, 38 p.; Dataset; 2 Appendixes
Country United States
State North Dakota
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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