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Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5065

Prepared in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Low-Flow Characteristics and Regionalization of Low-Flow Characteristics for Selected Streams in Arkansas

By Jaysson E. Funkhouser, Ken Eng, and Matthew W. Moix

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Scientific Investigations Report
2008-5065 PDF (18.7 MB)

Water use in Arkansas has increased dramatically in recent years. Since 1990, the use of water for all purposes except power generation has increased 53 percent (4,004 cubic feet per second in 1990 to 6,113 cubic feet per second in 2005). The biggest users are agriculture (90 percent), municipal water supply (4 percent) and industrial supply (2 percent). As the population of the State continues to grow, so does the demand for the State’s water resources.

The low-flow characteristics of a stream ultimately affect its utilization by humans. Specific information on the low-flow characteristics of streams is essential to State water-management agencies such as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission when dealing with problems related to irrigation, municipal and industrial water supplies, fish and wildlife conservation, and dilution of waste. Low-flow frequency data are of particular value to management agencies responsible for the development and management of the State’s water resources.

This report contains the low-flow characteristics for 70 active continuous-streamflow record gaging stations, 59 inactive continuous-streamflow record stations, and 101 partial-record gaging stations. These characteristics are the annual 7-day, 10-year low flow and the annual 7-day, 2-year low flow, and the seasonal, bimonthly, and monthly 7-day, 10-year low flow for the 129 active and inactive continuous-streamflow record and 101 partial-record gaging stations.

Low-flow characteristics were computed on the basis of streamflow data for the period of record through September 2005 for the continuous-streamflow record and partial-record streamflow gaging stations. The low-flow characteristics of these continuous- and partial-record streamflow gaging stations were utilized in a regional regression analysis to produce equations for estimating the annual, seasonal, bimonthly, and monthly (November through April) 7-day, 10-year low flows and the annual 7-day, 2-year low flow for ungaged streams in the western two-thirds of Arkansas.

Version 1.0

Posted September 2008

Suggested citation:

Funkhouser, J.E., Eng, Ken, and Moix, M.W., 2008, Low-flow characteristics and regionalization of low-flow characteristics for selected streams in Arkansas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5065, 161 p.




Purpose and Scope

Previous Studies

Continuous-Streamflow Record Gaging Network

Methods of Analysis at Gaging Station

Low-Flow Frequency

Calculation of Low-Flow Characteristics of Continuous-Streamflow Record Gaging Stations

Calculation of Low-Flow Characteristics at Partial-Record Gaging Stations

Calculation of Low-Flow Characteristics at Partial-Record Gaging Stations Using the Base-Flow Correlation Method

Calculation of Low-Flow Characteristics at Partial-Record Stations Using the Graphical Method

Methods of Analysis at Ungaged Basins

Regional Regression Models for Low-Flow Characteristics

Basin Attributes Considered

Basin Attribute Selection

Base-Flow Recession Constant, tau (τ)

Performance Metrics for Evaluation of Regression Models

Low-Flow Characteristics at Continuous-Streamflow and Partial-Record Gaging Stations

Regionalization of Low-Flow Characteristics

Low-Flow Regions of the State

Low-Flow Characteristics at Ungaged Basins

Use of Regression Models

Use of Computer Program


Selected References

Appendix 1. Description of Base-Flow Correlation Method

Appendix 2. Regional Regression Models

Appendix 3. Basin Attributes Tested for Significance in the Regression Analysis

Appendix 4. Basin Attribute Selection

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Last modified: Thursday, 10-Jan-2013 18:52:06 EST