Streamflow characteristics of the Waccamaw River at Freeland, North Carolina, for the period 1940-94 were described and compared to stream- flows in the adjacent Lumber River Basin. Precipitation in the two basins was about equal for the study period. During 1940-63, stream- flows in the Waccamaw and Lumber Rivers were essentially identical relative to average conditions. The flow regime from the late 1950's to the early 1980's was distinctly wetter than the flow regimes which immediately preceded and followed this period. Following 1963, droughts in the Waccamaw Basin seem to have been less severe than in the Lumber Basin, and the annual 1-, 7-, and 30-day low flows exhibited a slightly increasing trend in the Waccamaw River. Mean daily flow in the Wacca- maw River at the 90-percent exceedance level (low flows) during 1985- 94, a relatively dry period, was very nearly equal to flows at the same exceedance level for 1970-79, the wettest 10-year period between 1940 and 1994. Prior to the 1980's, flows per unit drainage area in the Waccamaw Basin were generally less than those in the Lumber Basin, but after 1980, the opposite was true. There is an increasing trend in the difference between Waccamaw River and Lumber River high flows, primarily as a result of increases in Waccamaw River high flows. On average, streamflow in the Waccamaw River consisted of 53.3 percent base flow, but base flow accounted for 70.6 percent of the total flow in the Lumber River, which is more typical of Coastal Plain streams. The ratio of base flow to runoff in the Waccamaw River may have changed relative to that in the Lumber River in the late 1970's. There was greater variability in Waccamaw River streamflow than in Lumber River flow, and flow variability in the Waccamaw River may have increased slightly during 1985-94.
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USGS Numbered Series
Streamflow characteristics of the Waccamaw River at Freeland, North Carolina, 1940-94