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Evaluation of a hydrograph-shifting method for estimating suspended-sediment loads in Illinois streams

January 1, 1994

A hydrograph-shifting method for estimating monthly and annual suspended-sediment loads was applied to suspended-sediment records for 12 streams in Illinois. Transport equations for each station were developed and synthetic sediment-discharge hydrographs were then generated by using these transport equations and records of daily streamflow. Hydrographs were shifted to measured values of daily sediment discharge selected to represent weekly, biweekly, and monthly sampling frequencies. Estimates of monthly suspended-sediment load ranged from 16 to 326 percent of measured values. Estimates of annual suspended-sediment loads ranged from 41 to 136 percent of measured values. (The method provides a reasonable means of estimating annual loads for most sites.) An experiment designed to measure the subjectivity of the method showed it to be more dependent on the particular days selected as control points than on the person applying the method. An evaluation of the effect of the length of record used to develop transport equations was not conclusive. Although standard errors of estimate showed no improvement, the comparison of estimated loads with measured loads showed slight improvement when 1 or 2 years of data were added to the data used to develop transport equations. (USGS)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1984
Title Evaluation of a hydrograph-shifting method for estimating suspended-sediment loads in Illinois streams
DOI 10.3133/wri844037
Authors L.R. Frost, L.J. Mansue
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 84-4037
Index ID wri844037
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse