Annual streamflow statistics from 10 selected streams in the Puget Sound Basin in western Washington were analyzed to identify possible hydrologic trends associated with urban development and to evaluate the effect of record length on errors in trend analysis. The analysis used three common streamflow statistics (annual mean discharge, annual maximum discharge, and 7-day low flow) and introduced an alternative statistic (fraction of year annual mean discharge was exceeded) for assessing the hydrologic effects of urban development. Although trends were identified in each of the four statistics analyzed, trends were not consistent in any of the four statistics for all selected streams. Instead, trends in two statistics ? (1) fraction of year annual mean discharge was exceeded, and (2) annual (instantaneous) maximum discharge ? were evident in streams with the highest levels of urban development over the period of record but not in streams with the lowest levels of urban development. Trends were not consistent for either annual mean discharge or 7-day low flow in urban streams. Trends were sensitive to the period of analysis for all four statistics, but particularly for the 7-day low flow, which showed increasing and decreasing trends for 10 subsets of the period of record in some streams.
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USGS Numbered Series
Hydrologic trends associated with urban development for selected streams in the Puget Sound basin, western Washington