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Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5084

Prepared in cooperation with the New York State Department of Transportation

Maximum Known Stages and Discharges of New York Streams and their Annual Exceedance Probabilities through September 2011

By Gary R. Wall, Patricia M. Murray, Richard Lumia, and Thomas P. Suro

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (5.66 MB)Abstract

Maximum known stages and discharges at 1,400 sites on 796 streams within New York are tabulated. Stage data are reported in feet. Discharges are reported as cubic feet per second and in cubic feet per second per square mile. Drainage areas range from 0.03 to 298,800 square miles; excluding the three sites with larger drainage areas on the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, which drain the Great Lakes, the maximum drainage area is 8,288 square miles (Hudson River at Albany). Most data were obtained from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) compilations and records, but some were provided by State, local, and other Federal agencies and by private organizations.

The stage and discharge information is grouped by major drainage basins and U.S. Geological Survey site number, in downstream order. Site locations and their associated drainage area, period(s) of record, stage and discharge data, and flood-frequency statistics are compiled in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Flood frequencies were derived for 1,238 sites by using methods described in Bulletin 17B (Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data, 1982), Ries and Crouse (2002), and Lumia and others (2006).

Curves that “envelope” maximum discharges within their range of drainage areas were developed for each of six flood-frequency hydrologic regions and for sites on Long Island, as well as for the State of New York; the New York curve was compared with a curve derived from a plot of maximum known discharges throughout the United States. Discharges represented by the national curve range from at least 2.7 to 4.9 times greater than those represented by the New York curve for drainage areas of 1.0 and 1,000 square miles. The relative magnitudes of discharge and runoff in the six hydrologic regions of New York and Long Island suggest the largest known discharges per square mile are in the southern part of western New York and the Catskill Mountain area, and the smallest are on Long Island.

First posted July 8, 2014

  • Report PDF (5.66 MB)

  • Table 1 XLS (2.17 MB)
    Maximum known stages and discharges of New York streams through September 30, 2011, and annual exceedance probabilities for those streams with sufficient data for analysis.

For additional information, contact:
Director, New York Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
425 Jordan Road
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 285-5600

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Suggested citation:

Wall, G.R., Murray, P.M., Lumia, Richard, and Suro, T.P., 2014, Maximum known stages and discharges of New York streams and their annual exceedance probabilities through September 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5084, 16 p.,

ISSN 2328–0328 (online)




Data Compilation and Computation


References Cited


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