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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5020

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Analysis of Streamflow-Gaging Network for Monitoring Stormwater in Small Streams in the Puget Sound Basin, Washington

By Christopher P. Konrad and Frank D. Voss


The streamflow-gaging network in the Puget Sound basin was analyzed for its capacity to monitor stormwater in small streams. The analysis consisted of an inventory of active and inactive gages and an evaluation of the coverage and resolution of the gaging network with an emphasis on lowland areas. The active gaging network covers much of the Puget Lowland largely by gages located at sites on larger streams and rivers. Assessments of stormwater impacts and management will likely require streamflow information with higher spatial resolution than provided by the current gaging network. Monitoring that emphasizes small streams in combination with approaches for estimating streamflow at ungaged sites provides an alternative to expanding the current gaging network that can improve the spatial resolution of streamflow information in the region. The highest priority gaps in the gaging network are low elevation basins close to the Puget Sound shoreline and sites that share less than 10 percent of the drainage area of an active gage. Although small, lowland sites with long records of streamflow are particularly valuable to maintain in the region, other criteria for prioritizing sites in the gaging network should be based on the specific questions that stormwater managers need to answer.

First posted June 25, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Washington Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
934 Broadway, Suite 300
Tacoma, Washington 98402

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Suggested citation:

Konrad, C.P., and Voss, F.D., 2012, Analysis of streamflow-gaging network for monitoring stormwater in small streams in the Puget Sound Basin, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5020, 16 p.




Description of Study Area

Basis for Evaluating the Streamflow-Gaging Network


Analysis of Streamflow-Gaging Network

Spatial Structure in Correlation of Monthly Streamflow

Further Analysis of Streamflow Gaging Network Needed for Monitoring Stormwater in Small Streams


References Cited

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