Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4049

Lagtime Relations for Urban Streams in Georgia

This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS WRIR00-4049 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )

Ernest J. Inman

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4049, 12 pages (Published 2000)


Urban flood hydrographs are needed for the design of many highway drainage structures, embankments, and entrances to detention ponds. The three components that are needed to simulate urban flood hydrographs at ungaged sites are the design flood, the dimensionless hydrograph, and lagtime. The design flood and the dimensionless hydrograph have been presented in earlier studies for urban streams in Georgia. The objective of this study was to develop equations for estimating lagtime for urban streams in Georgia.

Lagtimes were computed for 329 floods at 69 urban gaging stations in 11 cities in Georgia. These data were used to compute an average lagtime for each gaging station. Multiple regression analysis was then used to define relations between lagtime and certain physical basin characteristics, of which drainage area, slope, and impervious area were found to be significant. A qualitative variable was used to account for a geographical bias in flood-frequency region 4, a small area of southwestern Georgia.

Information from this report can be used to simulate a flood hydrograph using a dimensionless hydrograph, the design flood, and the lagtime obtained from regression equations for any urban site with less than a 25-square-mile drainage area in Georgia





Purpose and scope


Data base

Hydrograph-simulation procedure

Method summary

Testing of dimensionless hydrograph

Additional verification and bias testing

Regression analysis of lagtime


Limits of independent variables

Testing of urban lagtime regression equations




Application of technique


References cited



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