Techniques for Estimating Magnitude and Frequency of Floods on Streams in Indiana

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4134

by Dale R. Glatfelter

This report is available as a pdf below


Equations are presented for estimating the magnitude and frequency of floods at ungaged sites on unregulated and nonurban streams in Indiana. The equations were developed by multiple-regression, analysis of basin characteristics and peak-flow statistical data from 242 gaged locations in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The State of Indiana was divided into seven areas on the basis of the regression analysis. A set of equations for estimating peak discharges with recurrence intervals of 2, 10, 25, 50, and 100 years was developed for each area. Significant basin characteristics in the equations are drainage area, channel length, channel slope, mean annual precipitation, storage, precipitation intensity, and a runoff coefficient. Standard errors of estimate for the equations range from 24 to 45 percent.

Methods are also presented for estimating flood magnitude and frequency at sites on gaged streams. Flood-frequency data based on observed peaks are given for 270 gaged locations. Twenty of these are on regulated streams, and six are on urban streams. Basin characteristics are also included car 245 of the gaged locations on unregulated and nonurban streams. No techniques are given for estimating flood magnitude and frequency at ungaged sites on regulated or urban streams.

A rainfall-runoff model was used to synthesize long-term peak data at 11 gaged locations on small streams. Flood-frequency curves developed from the long-term synthetic data were combined with curves based on short-term observed data to provide weighted estimates of flood magnitude and frequency at the rainfall-runoff stations.

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