StreamStats Provides New Information for Montana

Release Date:

Helpful new information for anyone designing structures over or near water, managing water distribution, or interested in the flow of local streams.

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana edition of StreamStats, a web-based geographic program developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, is now available providing the public with information for streams and rivers around Montana. This new information will be helpful for anyone designing structures over or near water, managing water distribution, or just wanting to know about the flow of a stream in a particular area.

“StreamStats allows users to find information such as peak and average streamflows, stream characteristics such as drainage area and climate data with the click of a button,” said Peter McCarthy, USGS hydrologist leading the effort in Montana.

The USGS in Montana has a statewide network of 234 active streamgages that provide real-time streamflow to users via the Web, but those streamgages do not cover the entire state. Over the last several years, USGS hydrologists have been working to fill in the gaps by analyzing data from those active streamgages and an additional 521 historical streamgages in Montana, and inputting that information into StreamStats.

In addition to StreamStats, a multi-chapter report detailing the results of the statistical analyses has also been published. McCarthy noted that one of the most important findings that came to light was how important long-term streamgages are in the state. “The peak flows estimates, in particular were very different when we used a 40-year data set compared to the 100-year one.”

The report and study were conducted in cooperation with Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Department of Environment Quality, and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

Copies of the reports describing Montana StreamStats, as well as the studies describing the analyses, are available online at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20155019.