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Open-File Report 2008-1304

Prepared in cooperation with West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways

Generalized Skew Coefficients of Annual Peak Flows for Rural, Unregulated Streams in West Virginia

By John T. Atkins, Jr., Jeffrey B. Wiley, and Katherine S. Paybins


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Generalized skew was determined from analysis of records from 147 streamflow-gaging stations in or near West Virginia. The analysis followed guidelines established by the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data described in Bulletin 17B, except that stations having 50 or more years of record were used instead of stations with the less restrictive recommendation of 25 or more years of record. The generalized-skew analysis included contouring, averaging, and regression of station skews. The best method was considered the one with the smallest mean square error (MSE). MSE is defined as the following quantity summed and divided by the number of peaks: the square of the difference of an individual logarithm (base 10) of peak flow less the mean of all individual logarithms of peak flow. Contouring of station skews was the best method for determining generalized skew for West Virginia, with a MSE of about 0.2174. This MSE is an improvement over the MSE of about 0.3025 for the national map presented in Bulletin 17B.

First posted February 5, 2009

For additional information contact:
Director, U.S. Geological Survey
West Virginia Water Science Center
11 Dunbar Street, Charleston, WV 25301

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Suggested citation:

Atkins, J.T., Jr., Wiley, J.B., and Paybins, K.S., 2009, Generalized skew coefficients of annual peak flows for rural, unregulated streams in West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1304, 13 p.




Station Skew Coefficients

Generalized Skew Coefficients for West Virginia



References Cited

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