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Estimated flow-duration curves for selected ungaged sites in Kansas

October 1, 2001

Flow-duration curves for 1968-98 were estimated for 32 ungaged sites in the Missouri, Smoky Hill-Saline, Solomon, Marais des Cygnes, Walnut, Verdigris, and Neosho River Basins in Kansas. Also included from a previous report are estimated flow-duration curves for 16 ungaged sites in the Cimarron and lower Arkansas River Basins in Kansas. The method of estimation used six unique factors of flow duration: (1) mean streamflow and percentage duration of mean streamflow, (2) ratio of 1-percent-duration streamflow to mean streamflow, (3) ratio of 0.1-percent-duration streamflow to 1-percent-duration streamflow, (4) ratio of 50-percent-duration streamflow to mean streamflow, (5) percentage duration of appreciable streamflow (0.10 cubic foot per second), and (6) average slope of the flow-duration curve. These factors were previously developed from a regionalized study of flow-duration curves using streamflow data for 1921-76 from streamflow-gaging stations with drainage areas of 100 to 3,000 square miles. The method was tested on a currently (2001) measured, continuous-record streamflow-gaging station on Salt Creek near Lyndon, Kansas, with a drainage area of 111 square miles and was found to adequately estimate the computed flow-duration curve for the station. The method also was tested on a currently (2001) measured, continuous-record, streamflow-gaging station on Soldier Creek near Circleville, Kansas, with a drainage area of 49.3 square miles. The results of the test on Soldier Creek near Circleville indicated that the method could adequately estimate flow-duration curves for sites with drainage areas of less than 100 square miles. The low-flow parts of the estimated flow-duration curves were verified or revised using 137 base-flow discharge measurements made during 1999-2000 at the 32 ungaged sites that were correlated with base-flow measurements and flow-duration analyses performed at nearby, long-term, continuous-record, streamflow-gaging stations (index stations). The method did not adequately estimate the flow-duration curves for two sites in the western one-third of the State because of substantial changes in farming practices (terracing and intensive ground-water withdrawal) that were not accounted for in the two previous studies (Furness, 1959; Jordan, 1983). For these two sites, there was enough historic, continuous-streamflow record available to perform record-extension techniques correlated to their respective index stations for the development of the estimated flow-duration curves. The estimated flow-duration curves at the ungaged sites can be used for projecting future flow frequencies for assessment of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) or other water-quality constituents, water-availability studies, and for basin-characteristic studies.

Publication Year 2001
Title Estimated flow-duration curves for selected ungaged sites in Kansas
DOI 10.3133/wri014142
Authors S.E. Studley
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 2001-4142
Index ID wri014142
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse