This report gives estimates of, and presents techniques for estimating, the magnitude of peak flows for streams in Kentucky for recurrence intervals of 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 500 years. A flowchart in this report guides the user to the appropriate estimates and (or) estimating techniques for a site on a specific stream.
Estimates of peak flows are given for 222 U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations in Kentucky. In the development of the peak-flow estimates at gaging stations, a new generalized skew coefficient was calculated for the State. This single statewide value of 0.011 (with a standard error of prediction of 0.520) is more appropriate for Kentucky than the national skew isoline map in Bulletin 17B of the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data.
Regression equations are presented for estimating the peak flows on ungaged, unregulated streams in rural drainage basins. The equations were developed by use of generalized-least-squares regression procedures at 187 U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations in Kentucky and 51 stations in surrounding States. Kentucky was divided into seven flood regions. Total drainage area is used in the final regression equations as the sole explanatory variable, except in Regions 1 and 4 where main-channel slope also was used. The smallest average standard errors of prediction were in Region 3 (from -13.1 to +15.0 percent) and the largest average standard errors of prediction were in Region 5 (from -37.6 to +60.3 percent).
One section of this report describes techniques for estimating peak flows for ungaged sites on gaged, unregulated streams in rural drainage basins. Another section references two previous U.S. Geological Survey reports for peak-flow estimates on ungaged, unregulated, urban streams. Estimating peak flows at ungaged sites on regulated streams is beyond the scope of this report, because peak flows on regulated streams are dependent upon variable human activities.