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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5182

Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board

Trends in Selected Streamflow Statistics at 19 Long-Term Streamflow-Gaging Stations Indicative of Outflows from Texas to Arkansas, Louisiana, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, 1922–2009

By Dana L. Barbie and Loren L. Wehmeyer

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Abstract

Trends in selected streamflow statistics during 1922–2009 were evaluated at 19 long-term streamflow-gaging stations considered indicative of outflows from Texas to Arkansas, Louisiana, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, evaluated streamflow data from streamflow-gaging stations with more than 50 years of record that were active as of 2009. The outflows into Arkansas and Louisiana were represented by 3 streamflow-gaging stations, and outflows into the Gulf of Mexico, including Galveston Bay, were represented by 16 streamflow-gaging stations. Monotonic trend analyses were done using the following three streamflow statistics generated from daily mean values of streamflow: (1) annual mean daily discharge, (2) annual maximum daily discharge, and (3) annual minimum daily discharge. The trend analyses were based on the nonparametric Kendall’s Tau test, which is useful for the detection of monotonic upward or downward trends with time. A total of 69 trend analyses by Kendall’s Tau were computed—19 periods of streamflow multiplied by the 3 streamflow statistics plus 12 additional trend analyses because the periods of record for 2 streamflow-gaging stations were divided into periods representing pre- and post-reservoir impoundment. Unless otherwise described, each trend analysis used the entire period of record for each streamflow-gaging station. The monotonic trend analysis detected 11 statistically significant downward trends, 37 instances of no trend, and 21 statistically significant upward trends. One general region studied, which seemingly has relatively more upward trends for many of the streamflow statistics analyzed, includes the rivers and associated creeks and bayous to Galveston Bay in the Houston metropolitan area. Lastly, the most western river basins considered (the Nueces and Rio Grande) had statistically significant downward trends for many of the streamflow statistics analyzed.

Revised September 20, 2012

First posted September 11, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
1505 Ferguson Lane
Austin, Texas 78754-4501
http://tx.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Barbie, D.L., and Wehmeyer, L.L., 2012, Trends in selected streamflow statistics at 19 long-term streamflow-gaging stations indicative of outflows from Texas to Arkansas, Louisiana, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, 1922–2009: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5182, 20 p. Revised September 2012.



Abstract

Introduction

Methods

Trends in Selected Streamflow Statistics

Summary

References

 

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