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Regression Equations for Estimating Flood Flows at Selected Recurrence Intervals for Ungaged Streams in Pennsylvania

October 28, 2019

Regression equations were developed for estimating flood flows at selected recurrence intervals for ungaged streams in Pennsylvania with drainage areas less than 2,000 square miles. These equations were developed utilizing peak-flow data from 322 streamflow-gaging stations within Pennsylvania and surrounding states. All stations used in the development of the equations had 10 or more years of record and included active and discontinued continuous-record as well as crest-stage partial-record stations. The state was divided into four regions, and regional regression equations were developed to estimate the 2-, 5-, 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year recurrence-interval flood flows. The equations were developed by means of a regression analysis that utilized basin characteristics and flow data associated with the stations.

Significant explanatory variables at the 95-percent confidence level for one or more regression equations included the following basin characteristics: drainage area; mean basin elevation; and the percentages of carbonate bedrock, urban area, and storage within a basin. The regression equations can be used to predict the magnitude of flood flows for specified recurrence intervals for most streams in the state; however, they are not valid for streams with drainage areas generally greater than 2,000 square miles or with substantial regulation, diversion, or mining activity within the basin. Estimates of flood-flow magnitude and frequency for streamflow-gaging stations substantially affected by upstream regulation are also presented.

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