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Techniques and Methods 11–C6

Digital Database Architecture and Delineation Methodology for Deriving Drainage Basins, and a Comparison of Digitally and Non-Digitally Derived Numeric Drainage Areas

By Jean A. Dupree and Richard M. Crowfoot

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (15 MB)Abstract

The drainage basin is a fundamental hydrologic entity used for studies of surface-water resources and during planning of water-related projects. Numeric drainage areas published by the U.S. Geological Survey water science centers in Annual Water Data Reports and on the National Water Information Systems (NWIS) Web site are still primarily derived from hard-copy sources and by manual delineation of polygonal basin areas on paper topographic map sheets. To expedite numeric drainage area determinations, the Colorado Water Science Center developed a digital database structure and a delineation methodology based on the hydrologic unit boundaries in the National Watershed Boundary Dataset. This report describes the digital database architecture and delineation methodology and also presents the results of a comparison of the numeric drainage areas derived using this digital methodology with those derived using traditional, non-digital methods. (Please see report for full Abstract)

First posted October 4, 2012

For additional information contact:
Center Director, Colorado Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 415
Denver, CO 80225

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:

Dupree, J.A., and Crowfoot, R.M., 2012, Digital database architecture and delineation methodology for deriving drainage basins, and a comparison of digitally and non-digitally derived numeric drainage areas: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. C6, 59 p.





Digital Database Architecture

Delineation Methodology

Comparison of Digitally and Non-Digitally Derived Numeric Drainage Areas



References Cited

Appendix 1. Procedures and Guidelines for Delineating Basins

Appendix 2. Guidelines for Geodatabase Scope, Drainage-Basin Delineation, and Geodatabase Management

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