Kriging analysis of mean annual precipitation, Powder River Basin, Montana and Wyoming

Water-Resources Investigations Report 80-50



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Kriging is a statistical estimation technique for regionalized variables which exhibit an autocorrelation structure. Such structure can be described by a semi-variogram of the observed data. The kriging estimate at any point is a weighted average of the data, where the weights are determined using the semi-variogram and an assumed drift, or lack of drift, in the data. Block, or areal, estimates can also be calculated. The kriging algorithm, based on unbiased and minimum-variance estimates, involves a linear system of equations to calculate the weights. Kriging variances can then be used to give confidence intervals of the resulting estimates. Mean annual precipitation in the Powder River basin, Montana and Wyoming, is an important variable when considering restoration of coal-strip-mining lands of the region. Two kriging analyses involving data at 60 stations were made--one assuming no drift in precipitation, and one a partial quadratic drift simulating orographic effects. Contour maps of estimates of mean annual precipitation were similar for both analyses, as were the corresponding contours of kriging variances. Block estimates of mean annual precipitation were made for two subbasins. Runoff estimates were 1-2 percent of the kriged block estimates. (USGS)

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Kriging analysis of mean annual precipitation, Powder River Basin, Montana and Wyoming
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
iv, 25 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.