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Extending seasonal discharge records for streamgage sites on the North Fork Fortymile and Middle Fork Fortymile Rivers, Alaska, through water year 2020

March 12, 2021

Daily mean discharge records are needed for management of selected streams in the Fortymile River Basin. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, updated a technique for estimating seasonal (partial year) discharge at two short-record streamgage sites in the basin and evaluated the accuracy of the estimates. Daily mean discharge values were estimated for May 15–September 30, 1976–82 and 2006–18, for U.S. Geological Survey streamgage sites 15330000 (North Fork Fortymile River above Middle Fork near Franklin, Alaska) and 15331000 (Middle Fork Fortymile River near mouth near Chicken, Alaska). Relations between discharge for each study streamgage and an index streamgage on the main-stem Fortymile River (15348000, Fortymile River near Steele Creek, Alaska) for concurrent seasonal periods in 2019 and 2020 were developed using the maintenance of variance extension type 3 (MOVE.3) record extension technique. The MOVE.3 regressions were used to estimate daily mean discharges at the study streamgage sites for the selected season for the longer period of record of the index streamgage. Additionally, estimated records were generated from the regressions for the concurrent seasonal periods to evaluate the accuracy of the record extension techniques. The modified Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficients for the estimated records were 0.53 for the North Fork Fortymile River (15330000) and 0.70 for the Middle Fork Fortymile River (15331000) streamgages.