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Graphical correlation of gaging-station records

January 1, 1960

A gaging-station record is a sample of the rate of flow of a stream at a given site. This sample can be used to estimate the magnitude and distribution of future flows if the record is long enough to be representative of the long-term flow of the stream. The reliability of a short-term record for estimating future flow characteristics can be improved through correlation with a long-term record. Correlation can be either numerical or graphical, but graphical correlation of gaging-station records has several advantages.

The graphical correlation method is described in a step-by-step procedure with an illustrative problem of simple correlation, illustrative problems of three examples of multiple correlation--removing seasonal effect--and two examples of correlation of one record with two other records. Except in the problem on removal of seasonal effect, the same group of stations is used in the illustrative problems. The purpose of the problems is to illustrate the method--not to show the improvement that can result from multiple correlation as compared with simple correlation.

Hydrologic factors determine whether a usable relation exists between gaging-station records. Statistics is only a tool for evaluating and using an existing relation, and the investigator must be guided by a knowledge of hydrology.

Publication Year 1960
Title Graphical correlation of gaging-station records
DOI 10.3133/wsp1541C
Authors James K. Searcy
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water Supply Paper
Series Number 1541
Index ID wsp1541C
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse