Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5242

Prepared in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and the West Virginia Conservation Agency

Regional Curves for Bankfull Channel Characteristics in the Appalachian Plateaus, West Virginia

By Terence Messinger


Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.7 MB)

Streams in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province in West Virginia were classified as a single region on the basis of bankfull characteristics. Regression lines for annual peak flow and drainage area measured at streamgages in the study area at recurrence intervals between 1.2 and 1.7 years fell within the 99-percent confidence interval of the regression line for bankfull flow. Channel characteristics were intermediate among those from surrounding states and regions where comparable studies have been done.

The stream reaches that were surveyed were selected for apparent stability, and to represent gradients of drainage area, elevation, and mean annual precipitation. Profiles of high-water marks left by bankfull and near-bankfull peaks were surveyed, either as part of slope-area flow measurements at ungaged reaches, or to transfer known flow information to cross sections for gaged reaches. The slope-area measurements made it possible to include ungaged sites in the study, but still relate bankfull dimensions to peak flow and frequency.

Revised February 3, 2010

First posted December 17, 2009

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

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:

Messinger, Terence, 2009, Regional curves for bankfull channel characteristics in the Appalachian Plateaus, West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5242, 43 p.




Description of Study Area

Site Selection

Channel Measurements

Bankfull Characteristics and Regional Curves

Summary and Conclusions


References Cited

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 10-Jan-2013 19:42:29 EST