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PEAK-FLOW CHARACTERISTICS OF WYOMING STREAMS

Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4107

By Kirk A. Miller

WYDOT logo

Prepared in cooperation with the 
WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

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Abstract

Peak-flow characteristics for unregulated streams in Wyoming are described in this report. Frequency relations for annual peak flows through water year 2000 at 364 streamflow-gaging stations in and near Wyoming were evaluated and revised or updated as needed. Analyses of historical floods, temporal trends, and generalized skew were included in the evaluation. Physical and climatic basin characteristics were determined for each gaging station using a geographic information system. Gaging stations with similar peak-flow and basin characteristics were grouped into six hydrologic regions. Regional statistical relations between peak-flow and basin characteristics were explored using multiple-regression techniques. Generalized least squares regression equations for estimating magnitudes of annual peak flows with selected recurrence intervals from 1.5 to 500 years were developed for each region. Average standard errors of estimate range from 34 to 131 percent. Average standard errors of prediction range from 35 to 135 percent. Several statistics for evaluating and comparing the errors in these estimates are described. Limitations of the equations are described. Methods for applying the regional equations for various circumstances are listed and examples are given.


Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and scope

Acknowledgements

Previous investigations

Description of study area

Methods

Streamflow-gaging stations

Basin characteristics

Data compilation

Determination of basin characteristics

Frequency analyses

Historical data

Base discharge

Trend testing

Skew evaluation

Map of skew isolines

Skew prediction equation

Mean of gaging station skew values

Previous investigations

Regional relations

Delineation of regions

Regression analyses

Results

Regional equations

Rocky Mountains

Central Basins and Northern Plains

Eastern Basins and Eastern Plains

Eastern Mountains

Overthrust Belt

High Desert

Limitations

Applications

Ungaged site on an ungaged stream in one region

Ungaged site on an ungaged stream in two regions

Gaged site

Ungaged site near a gaging station on the same stream in one region

Ungaged site between two gaging stations on the same stream

Summary

Selected references

Supplemental information


PLATES


1. Map showing locations of streamflow-gaging stations and hydrologic regions used in study

2. Map showing soils hydrologic index data

 


FIGURES


1. Location map of study area

2-3. Graph showing:

2. Comparison of mean basin elevation determined using a geographic information system with mean basin elevation in the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System

3. Comparison of mean-annual basin precipitation determined using a geographic information system with mean-annual basin precipitation in the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System

4. Example annual peak-flow frequency curve

5. Generalized skew map for Wyoming and surrounding states

6-7. Map showing:

6. Physiographic provinces and sections for Wyoming and surrounding states

7. Hydrologic regions for determining peak-flow characteristics of Wyoming streams

8. Graph showing example of relation between cross-correlation coefficients of annual peaks and distance between sites

9-10. Map showing:

9. Mean March precipitation, Eastern Mountains Regions

10. Mean January precipitation, Overthrust Belt Region

11. Graph showing joint distribution of mean basin elevation and basin drainage area for gaged sites in the Rocky Mountains Regions


TABLES


1. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, Rocky Mountains Regions, Wyoming (Region 1)

2. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, Central Basins and Northern Plains Region, Wyoming (Region 2)

3. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, Eastern Basins and Eastern Plains Region, Wyoming (Region 3)

4. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, Eastern Mountains Regions, Wyoming (Region 4)

5. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, Overthrust Belt Region, Wyoming (Region 5)

6. Equations for estimating peak-flow characteristics, High Desert Region, Wyoming (Region 6)

7. Applicable ranges of basin characteristics for use in regional regression equations

8. Exponents for drainage-area ratio in equation for estimating peak-flow characteristics at an ungaged site near a gaging station on the same stream in one region

9. Streamflow-gaging stations used in study, Wyoming and surrounding states

10. Basin characteristics, selected streamflow-gaging stations, Wyoming and surrounding states

11. Peak-flow characteristics, selected streamflow-gaging stations, Wyoming and surrounding states


Water Resources of Wyoming




U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last modified: Friday, September 16 2005, 04:23:00 PM
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