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Flood-Frequency Prediction Methods for Unregulated Streams of Tennessee, 2000

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4176
by George S. Law and Gary D. Tasker

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Abstract

Up-to-date flood-frequency prediction methods for unregulated, ungaged rivers and streams of Tennessee have been developed. Prediction methods include the regional-regression method and the newer region-of-influence method. The prediction methods were developed using stream-gage records from unregulated streams draining basins having from 1 percent to about 30 percent total impervious area. These methods, however, should not be used in heavily developed or storm-sewered basins with impervious areas greater than 10 percent. The methods can be used to estimate 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year recurrence-interval floods of most unregulated rural streams in Tennessee. A computer application was developed that automates the calculation of flood frequency for unregulated, ungaged rivers and streams of Tennessee.

Regional-regression equations were derived by using both single-variable and multivariable regional-regression analysis. Contributing drainage area is the explanatory variable used in the single-variable equations. Contributing drainage area, main-channel slope, and a climate factor are the explanatory variables used in the multivariable equations. Deleted-residual standard error for the single-variable equations ranged from 32 to 65 percent. Deleted-residual standard error for the multivariable equations ranged from 31 to 63 percent. These equations are included in the computer application to allow easy comparison of results produced by the different methods.

The region-of-influence method calculates multivariable regression equations for each ungaged site and recurrence interval using basin characteristics from 60 similar sites selected from the study area. Explanatory variables that may be used in regression equations computed by the region-of-influence method include contributing drainage area, main-channel slope, a climate factor, and a physiographic-region factor. Deleted-residual standard error for the region-of-influence method tended to be only slightly smaller than those for the regional-regression method and ranged from 27 to 62 percent.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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