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Estimating peak-flow quantiles for selected annual exceedance probabilities in Illinois

September 1, 2023

This report presents the methods, results, and applications of an updated flood-frequency study for the State of Illinois. This study, which uses data through September 2017, updates two previous studies that used data through 1999 and 2009, respectively. Flood-frequency estimates are used for a variety of land-use planning and infrastructure design purposes, including for the hydraulic design of bridges. The flood frequencies presented are the stream discharges (or quantiles) that are exceeded each year with a given probability, called the annual exceedance probability (AEP). Estimates are provided for eight AEPs: 0.5, 0.2, 0.1, 0.04, 0.02, 0.01, 0.005, and 0.002. The basic data used are the annual maximum discharges (peak flows) at streamgages in and near Illinois and the measurable physical properties (basin characteristics) of the basins upstream from those streamgages. The logarithms of the peak flow records at qualifying streamgages were fit to the Pearson Type 3 distribution using federally recommended methods, providing one of the two primary products of the study, which is the set of peak-flow quantiles at the streamgages and their uncertainties. The other primary product is sets of equations, determined by least-squares regression, that relate the peak-flow quantiles and the basin characteristics. There is one set of equations for each of Illinois’ seven hydrologic regions, and, for each region, one equation for each AEP. These regional equations allow the estimation of peak-flow quantiles at ungaged locations throughout the state and their uncertainties. A set of illustrative example applications is provided, and tables of all results at all study streamgages and regions are provided in associated data releases. The study results are also being made available in a web application, StreamStats.

Publication Year 2023
Title Estimating peak-flow quantiles for selected annual exceedance probabilities in Illinois
DOI 10.36501/0197-9191/23-019
Authors Thomas M. Over, Mackenzie K. Marti, Padraic S. O'Shea, Jennifer B. Sharpe
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Series Title Research Report
Series Number FHWA-ICT-23-014
Index ID 70249172
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Illinois Water Science Center; Iowa Water Science Center; Central Midwest Water Science Center