Estimating the Magnitude of Annual Peak Discharges with Recurrence Intervals between 1.1 and 3.0 Years for Rural, Unregulated Streams in West Virginia

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4164

By Jeffrey B. Wiley, John T. Atkins, Jr., and Dawn A. Newell


Multiple and simple least-squares regression models for the log10-transformed 1.5- and 2-year recurrence intervals of peak discharges with independent variables describing the basin characteristics (log10-transformed and untransformed) for 236 streamflow-gaging stations were evaluated, and the regression residuals were plotted as areal distributions that defined three regions in West Virginia designated as East, North, and South. Regional equations for the 1.1-, 1.2-, 1.3-, 1.4-, 1.5-, 1.6-, 1.7-, 1.8-, 1.9-, 2.0-, 2.5-, and 3-year recurrence intervals of peak discharges were determined by generalized least-squares regression. Log10-transformed drainage area was the most significant independent variable for all regions.

Equations developed in this study are applicable only to rural, unregulated streams within the boundaries of West Virginia. The accuracies of estimating equations are quantified by measuring the average prediction error (from 27.4 to 52.4 percent) and equivalent years of record (from 1.1 to 3.4 years).




Description of Study Area

Physiographic Provinces




Development of Low-Recurrence-Interval Peak-Discharge Estimating Equations

Peak-Discharge Data

Basin-Characteristics Data

Magnitude and Frequency Analysis

Data Correlation

Regional Regression Analysis

Estimating Discharges for Gaged and Ungaged Locations

Accuracy of Low-Recurrence-Interval Peak-Discharge Estimating Equations

Limitations of Low-Recurrence-Interval Peak-Discharge Estimating Equations


References Cited

Appendix 1. Fortran Program for Calculating Frequency Factors

Appendix 2. Accuracy of Estimating Equations

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Charleston, WV 25301


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