Regression equations for estimating the magnitude and frequency of floods on ungaged streams in Pennsylvania with drainage areas less that 2,000 square miles were developed on the basis of peak-flow data collected at 313 streamflow-gaging stations. All streamflow-gaging stations used in the development of the equations had 10 or more years of record and include active and discontinued continuous-record and crest-stage partial-record streamflow-gaging stations. Regional regression equations were developed for flood flows expected every 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 years by the use of a weighted multiple linear regression model. The State was divided into two regions. The largest region, Region A, encompasses about 78 percent of Pennsylvania. The smaller region, Region B, includes only the northwestern part of the State. Basin characteristics used in the regression equations for Region A are drainage area, percentage of forest cover, percentage of urban development, percentage of basin underlain by carbonate bedrock, and percentage of basin controlled by lakes, swamps, and reservoirs. Basin characteristics used in the regression equations for Region B are drainage area and percentage of basin controlled by lakes, swamps, and reservoirs. The coefficient of determination (R2) values for the five flood-frequency equations for Region A range from 0.93 to 0.82, and for Region B, the range is from 0.96 to 0.89. While the regression equations can be used to predict the magnitude and frequency of peak flows for most streams in the State, they should not be used for streams with drainage areas greater than 2,000 square miles or less than 1.5 square miles, for streams that drain extensively mined areas, or for stream reaches immediately below flood-control reservoirs. In addition, the equations presented for Region B should not be used if the stream drains a basin with more than 5 percent urban development.
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USGS Numbered Series
Techniques for estimating magnitude and frequency of peak flows for Pennsylvania streams