Preliminary Evaluation of Flood Frequency Relations in the Urban Areas of Memphis, Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 77-132

by Charles W. Boning

This report is available as a pdf below


A storm-runoff relation for streams in the urban areas of Memphis was determined by a statistical evaluation of 59 flood discharges from 19 gaging stations. These flood discharges were related to drainage area, percent imperviousness of the drainage basin, and rainfall occurring over 120-minute periods. The defined relation is

Q = (158.3A^(0.777A^(-0.02)))*((IMP+1)^(0.227))*((I120)^((0.539*(I120))^0.40))

where Q is flood discharge in cfs, A is drainage area in square miles, IMP is percent imperviousness in the basin, and 1120 is rainfall in inches, over 120 minute time period.

The defined relation was used to synthesize sets of annual flood peaks for drainage basins ranging from .05 square miles to 10 square miles and imperviousness ranging from 0 to 80 percent for the period of rainfall record at Memphis. From these series of flood peaks, frequency relations were defined and presented for 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 year recurrent intervals.

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