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Fact Sheet 2009–3085

Prepared in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation

Methods for Estimating Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in Rural Basins in the Southeastern United States: South Carolina

By Toby D. Feaster, Anthony J. Gotvald, and J. Curtis Weaver

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For more than 50 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been developing regional regression equations that can be used to estimate flood magnitude and frequency at ungaged sites. Flood magnitude relates to the volume of flow that occurs over some period of time and usually is presented in cubic feet per second. Flood frequency relates to the probability of occurrence of a flood; that is, on average, what is the likelihood that a flood with a specified magnitude will occur in any given year (1 percent chance, 10 percent chance, 50 percent chance, and so on). Such flood estimates are needed for the efficient design of bridges, highway embankments, levees, and other structures near streams. In addition, these estimates are needed for the effective planning and management of land and water resources, to protect lives and property in flood-prone areas, and to determine flood-insurance rates.

First posted September 11, 2009

For additional information contact:
USGS South Carolina Water Science Center
Stephenson Center, Suite 129
720 Gracern Road
Columbia, SC 29210

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Feaster, T.D., Gotvald, A.J., and Weaver, J.C., 2009, Methods for estimating magnitude and frequency of floods in rural basins in the Southeastern United States—South Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3085, 2 p.

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