Peak-flow characteristics of Virginia streams

Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5144
Prepared in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation
By: , and 



Peak-flow annual exceedance probabilities, also called probability-percent chance flow estimates, and regional regression equations are provided describing the peak-flow characteristics of Virginia streams. Statistical methods are used to evaluate peak-flow data. Analysis of Virginia peak-flow data collected from 1895 through 2007 is summarized. Methods are provided for estimating unregulated peak flow of gaged and ungaged streams. Station peak-flow characteristics identified by fitting the logarithms of annual peak flows to a Log Pearson Type III frequency distribution yield annual exceedance probabilities of 0.5, 0.4292, 0.2, 0.1, 0.04, 0.02, 0.01, 0.005, and 0.002 for 476 streamgaging stations. Stream basin characteristics computed using spatial data and a geographic information system are used as explanatory variables in regional regression model equations for six physiographic regions to estimate regional annual exceedance probabilities at gaged and ungaged sites. Weighted peak-flow values that combine annual exceedance probabilities computed from gaging station data and from regional regression equations provide improved peak-flow estimates. Text, figures, and lists are provided summarizing selected peak-flow sites, delineated physiographic regions, peak-flow estimates, basin characteristics, regional regression model equations, error estimates, definitions, data sources, and candidate regression model equations. This study supersedes previous studies of peak flows in Virginia.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Peak-flow characteristics of Virginia streams
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2011-5144
DOI 10.3133/sir20115144
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) U.S. Geological Survey, Richmond, VA, Virginia Water Science Center, West Virginia Water Science Center
Description iv, 106 p.; Tables 1-6; Appendices
Time Range Start 1895-01-01
Time Range End 2007-12-31
Country United States
State Virginia
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