Paleoflood Investigations to Improve Flood-Frequency Estimates for Eastern Colorado

Science Center Objects

The peak-streamflow regional-regression equations (PSRREs) in the Plains hydrologic region in eastern Colorado have the largest uncertainty of any hydrologic region in Colorado. Reliable peak-streamflow information is critical for the proper design of stream-related infrastructure, such as bridges and dams, and flood-plain inundation maps. In an effort to provide more reliable peak-streamflow information in the Plains region, the USGS, in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Transportation, developed PSRREs for estimating the 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, 0.2-percent annual exceedance-probability discharge for natural streamflow in eastern Colorado.

BACKGROUND:

Reliable peak-streamflow information is critical for the proper design of stream-related infrastructure, such as bridges and dams, and floodplain inundation maps. At gaged sites, where sufficient long-term streamflow data have been collected, statistics can be obtained from available publications, by an analysis of available data in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System, or other sources of flood information. Estimates also are needed at ungaged sites, however, where no site-specific streamflow data are available. Large areas with few streamflow gages having short periods of record have caused large uncertainties in the regional-regression equations used to estimate peak streamflow. Additional flood information may improve the reliability of the regional-regression equations in the Plains hydrologic region of eastern Colorado. A total of 188 streamgages, with a combined total of 6,536 years of record and an average of approximately 35 years of record per streamgage, was used to develop the peak-streamflow equations. In addition, paleoflood data was documented at 41 streamgages and 3 streamgages had previously collected paleoflood data for a total of 44 streamgages with paleoflood or non-exceedance bound data.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Compile systematic flood data available at USGS, Colorado Division of Water Resources, and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources streamgages through water year 2013 (October 1, 2012 through September 31, 2013) in eastern Colorado and adjacent States.
  • Collect paleoflood data at streamgages to supplement the systematic flood data.
  • Perform flood-frequency analysis at each streamgage following guidelines outlined in Advisory Committee on Water Data, Bulletin 17C, (England, 2015)
  • Provide updated regional peak-streamflow equations for eastern Colorado and update USGS StreamStats program with new equations.

Sites in Eastern Colorado Used to Improve Flood-Frequency Estimates for Eastern Colorado

List of 188 gages used to update the regional peak-streamflow equations for eastern Colorado.

SiteSite Name
06655000COTTONWOOD CREEK AT WENDOVER, WY
06668040RABBIT CREEK NEAR WHEATLAND, WY
06675300HORSE CREEK TRIBUTARY NEAR LITTLE BEAR, WY
06687000BLUE CREEK NEAR LEWELLEN, NE
06707000NF SOUTH PLATTE RIVER AT SOUTH PLATTE, CO
06708500DEER CREEK NEAR LITTLETON, CO
06709500PLUM CREEK NEAR LOUVIERS, CO
06710385BEAR CREEK ABOVE EVERGREEN, CO
06710990PARMALEE GULCH AT MOUTH, AT INDIAN HILLS, CO
06711000TURKEY CREEK NEAR MORRISON, CO
06712000CHERRY CREEK NEAR FRANKTOWN, CO
06712500CHERRY CREEK NEAR MELVIN, CO
06718550NORTH CLEAR CREEK ABOVE MOUTH NR BLACK HAWK, CO
06719500CLEAR CREEK NEAR GOLDEN, CO
06724000ST. VRAIN CREEK AT LYONS, CO
06724500LEFT HAND CREEK NEAR BOULDER, CO
06726900BUMMERS GULCH NEAR EL VADO, CO
06727500FOURMILE CREEK AT ORODELL, CO
06730300COAL CREEK NEAR PLAINVIEW, CO
06730500BOULDER CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR LONGMONT, CO
06736000NORTH FORK BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT DRAKE, CO
06736650CEDAR CREEK AT CEDAR COVE, CO
06739500BUCKHORN CREEK NEAR MASONVILLE, CO
06742000LITTLE THOMPSON RIVER NEAR BERTHOUD, CO
06751490NORTH FORK CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER AT LIVERMORE, CO
06755000SOUTH CROW CREEK NEAR HECLA, WY
06755960CROW CREEK AT 19TH STREET, AT CHEYENNE, WY
06758200KIOWA CREEK AT KIOWA, CO
06758700MIDDLE BIJOU CREEK TRIBUTARY NR DEER TRAIL, CO
06759100BIJOU CREEK NEAR FT. MORGAN, CO
06761900LODGEPOLE CREEK TRIBUTARY NEAR PINE BLUFFS, WY
06762500LODGEPOLE CREEK AT BUSHNELL, NE
06762600LODGEPOLE CREEK TRIBUTARY NO 2 NEAR ALBIN, WY
06763500LODGEPOLE CREEK AT RALTON, NE
06767200NO FK PLUM CR TRIB NR FARNAM, NE
06821300NORTH FORK ARIKAREE RIVER TRIBUTARY NR SHAW, CO
06821400NORTH FORK BLACK WOLF CREEK NEAR VERNON, CO
06821500ARIKAREE RIVER AT HAIGLER, NE
06823000NORTH FORK REPUBLICAN RIVER AT COLORADO-NEBRASKA
06823500BUFFALO CREEK NEAR HAIGLER, NE
06825000SOUTH FORK REPUBLICAN RIVER NEAR IDALIA, CO
06825500LANDSMAN CREEK NEAR HALE, CO
06826900SAND CREEK NEAR HALE, CO
06829700THOMPSON CANYON NEAR TRENTON, NE
06831500FRENCHMAN CREEK NEAR IMPERIAL, NE
06835000STINKING WATER CREEK NEAR PALISADE, NE
06835100BOBTAIL CREEK NEAR PALISADE, NE
06836000BLACKWOOD CREEK NEAR CULBERTSON, NE
06836500DRIFTWOOD CREEK NEAR MCCOOK, NE
06838200COON CREEK AT INDIANOLA, NE
06838550DRY CREEK AT BARTLEY, NE
06839200ELKHORN CANYON NEAR MAYWOOD, NE
06839600FRAZIER CREEK NEAR MAYWOOD, NE
06839850FOX CREEK NORTH OF CURTIS, NE
06839900FOX CREEK ABOVE CUT CANYON NR CURTIS, NE
06839950CUT CANYON NEAR CURTIS, NE
06840000FOX CREEK AT CURTIS, NE
06840500DRY CREEK NEAR CURTIS, NE
06841000MEDICINE CREEK ABOVE HARRY STRUNK LAKE, NE
06841500MITCHELL CREEK ABOVE HARRY STRUNK LAKE, NE
06844700SF SAPPA C NR BREWSTER, KS
06844800SF SAPPA C TR NR GOODLAND, KS
06844900SF SAPPA C NR ACHILLES, KS
06845000SAPPA C NR OBERLIN, KS
06845100LONG BRANCH DRAW NR NORCATUR, KS
06846200BEAVER C TR NR LUDELL, KS
06846500BEAVER C AT CEDAR BLUFFS, KS
06847600PRAIRIE DOG C TR AT COLBY, KS
06847900PRAIRIE DOG C AB KEITH SEBELIUS LAKE, KS
06858500NF SMOKY HILL R NR MCALLASTER, KS
06859500LADDER C BL CHALK C NR SCOTT CITY, KS
06860000SMOKY HILL R AT ELKADER, KS
06860300SB HACKBERRY C NR ORION, KS
06860500HACKBERRY C NR GOVE, KS
07093775BADGER CREEK, LOWER STATION, NEAR HOWARD, CO
07095000GRAPE CREEK NEAR WESTCLIFFE, CO
07096500FOURMILE CREEK NEAR CANON CITY, CO
07099060BEAVER CREEK ABOVE HIGHWAY 115 NEAR PENROSE, CO
07099080RED CREEK BELOW SULLIVAN PARK AT FORT CARSON, CO
07099215TURKEY CREEK NEAR FOUNTAIN, CO
07099220LITTLE TURKEY CREEK NEAR FOUNTAIN, CO
07099230TURKEY CREEK AB TELLER RES NEAR STONE CITY, CO
07103700FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
07103703CAMP CREEK AT GARDEN OF THE GODS, CO
07103747MONUMENT CREEK AT PALMER LAKE, CO
07103960KETTLE CREEK ABOVE USAF ACADEMY, CO
07103977COTTONWOOD CR AT COWPOKE RD. AT COLO SPRINGS, CO
07104000MONUMENT CREEK AT PIKEVIEW, CO
07104050N. ROCKRIMMON CR ABV DELMONICO DR. AT CO SPRGS, CO
07105000BEAR CREEK NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
07105490CHEYENNE CREEK AT EVANS AVE AT COLORADO SPRINGS,CO
07105900JIMMY CAMP CREEK AT FOUNTAIN, CO
07105920L FOUNTAIN C AB KEATON RE, NR FORT CARSON, CO
07105940LITTLE FOUNTAIN CREEK NEAR FOUNTAIN, CO
07105945ROCK CREEK ABOVE FORT CARSON RESERVATION, CO
07106500FOUNTAIN CREEK AT PUEBLO, CO
07107500ST. CHARLES RIVER AT BURNT MILL, CO
07108900ST. CHARLES RIVER AT VINELAND, CO
07111000HUERFANO R AT MANZANARES XING, NR REDWING, CO
07112500HUERFANO RIVER AT BADITO, CO
07114000CUCHARAS RIVER AT BOYD RANCH, NEAR LA VETA, CO
07116000HUERFANO R BL HUERF VALY DAM NR UNDERCLIFFE, CO
07118000APISHAPA RIVER NEAR AGUILAR, CO
07120620BIG ARROYO NEAR THATCHER, CO
07121500TIMPAS CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR SWINK, CO
07122400CROOKED ARROYO NEAR SWINK, CO
07123675HORSE CREEK NEAR LAS ANIMAS, CO
07124300LONG CANYON CREEK NEAR MADRID, CO
07124500PURGATOIRE RIVER AT TRINIDAD, CO
07125100FRIJOLE CREEK NEAR ALFALFA, CO
07125500SAN FRANCISCO CREEK NEAR ALFALFA, CO
07126100LUNING ARROYO NEAR MODEL, CO
07126140VAN BREMER ARROYO NEAR TYRONE, CO
07126200VAN BREMER ARROYO NEAR MODEL, CO
07126325TAYLOR ARROYO BL ROCK CROSSING, NR THATCHER, CO
07126390LOCKWOOD CANYON CREEK NEAR THATCHER, CO
07126415RED ROCK CANYON CREEK AT MOUTH NR THATCHER, CO
07126470CHACUACO CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR TIMPAS, CO
07126480BENT CANYON CREEK AT MOUTH NEAR TIMPAS, CO
07126500PURGATOIRE RIVER AT NINEMILE DAM, NR HIGBEE, CO
07133200CLAY CREEK TRIBUTARY NEAR DEORA, CO
07134100BIG SANDY CREEK NEAR LAMAR, CO
07134990WILD HORSE CREEK ABOVE HOLLY, CO
07135000TWO BUTTE CREEK NEAR HOLLY, CO
07138600WHITE WOMAN C TR NR SELKIRK, KS
07138650WHITE WOMAN C NR LEOTI, KS
07138800LION C TR NR MODOC, KS
07140600PAWNEE R TR NR KALVESTA, KS
07141400SF WALNUT CR TR NR DIGHTON, KS
07153500DRY CIMARRON R NR GUY, NM
07154400CARRIZOZO CREEK NEAR KENTON, OK
07154500CIMARRON RIVER NEAR KENTON, OK
07154650TESESQUITE CREEK NEAR KENTON, OK
07155100COLD SPRINGS CREEK NEAR WHEELESS, OK
07155590CIMARRON R NR ELKHART, KS
07155900NF CIMARRON R TR NR ELKHART, KS
07156000NF CIMARRON R TR NR RICHFIELD, KS
07156010NF CIMARRON R AT RICHFIELD, KS
07156100SAND ARROYO C NR JOHNSON, KS
07156220BEAR C NR JOHNSON, KS
07156600CIMARRON R TR NR MOSCOW, KS
07156700CIMARRON R TR NR SATANTA, KS
07157100CROOKED C NR COPELAND, KS
07157400CROOKED C TR AT MEADE, KS
07157500CROOKED C NR ENGLEWOOD, KS
07157550WEST FORK CREEK NEAR KNOWLES, OK
07199000CANADIAN RIVER NEAR HEBRON, NM
07201000RATON CREEK AT RATON, NM
07201200CHICORICA CR TRIB NR RATON, NM
07201450GREEN MTN ARROYO NR RATON, NM
07202000CHICORICA CREEK NEAR HEBRON, NM
07203000VERMEJO RIVER NEAR DAWSON, NM
07203600RIO DEL PLANO TRIB NR TAYLOR SPGS, NM
07204000MORENO CREEK AT EAGLE NEST, N. MEX.
07204500CIENEGUILLA CR NR EAGLE NEST, NM
07205000SIXMILE CREEK NEAR EAGLE NEST, NM
07206400CLEAR C NR UTE PARK, NM
07207500PONIL CREEK NEAR CIMARRON, NM
07208500RAYADO CREEK NEAR CIMARRON, NM
07211500CANADIAN RIVER NEAR TAYLOR SPRINGS, NM
07213700CANADIAN RIVER TRIB NR MILLS, NM
07214800RIO LA CASA NR CLEVELAND, NM
07220000SAPELLO RIVER AT SAPELLO, NM
07220900DOG CREEK NEAR SHOEMAKER, NM
07221600LAGARTIJA CREEK TRIB NR SANCHEZ, NM
07222300TREMENTINA CREEK AT TREMENTINA, NM
07222500CONCHAS RIVER AT VARIADERO, NM
07222800GARITA CR TRIB NR VARIADERO, NM
07225300BLUEWATER CREEK NR TUCUMCARI, NM
07225500UTE CREEK NEAR GLADSTONE, NM
07226200BUEYEROS CREEK AT BUEYEROS, NM
07226500UTE CREEK NEAR LOGAN, NM
07227100REVUELTO CREEK NEAR LOGAN, NM
07227150ARROYO DEL PUERTO NR ENDEE, NM
07227200TRAMPEROS CREEK NEAR STEAD, NM
07227295SANDY ARROYO TRIB NEAR CLAYTON, NM
07227300SAND DRAW NEAR CLAYTON, NM
07227920DIXON CK NR BORGER, TX
07232500BEAVER RIVER NEAR GUYMON, OK
07232550SOUTH FORK TRIB NEAR GUYMON, OK
07232650AQUA FRIO CREEK NEAR FELT, OK
07232900COLDWATER CREEK NEAR GUYMON, OK
07233500PALO DURO CK NR SPEARMAN, TX
07233850SHARP CREEK TRIB NEAR TURPIN, OK
07234050NORTH FORK CLEAR CREEK TRIB NR BALKO, OK
07234100CLEAR CREEK NEAR ELMWOOD, OK
07301410SWEETWATER CK NR KELTON, TX
99999999RATON CREEK ABOVE STARKVILLE, CO