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StreamStats in Oklahoma– Drainage-basin characteristics and peak-flow frequency statistics for ungaged streams

July 21, 2010

The USGS Streamflow Statistics (StreamStats) Program was created to make geographic information systems-based estimation of streamflow statistics easier, faster, and more consistent than previously used manual techniques. The StreamStats user interface is a map-based internet application that allows users to easily obtain streamflow statistics, basin characteristics, and other information for user-selected U.S. Geological Survey data-collection stations and ungaged sites of interest. The application relies on the data collected at U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations, computer aided computations of drainage-basin characteristics, and published regression equations for several geographic regions comprising the United States. The StreamStats application interface allows the user to (1) obtain information on features in selected map layers, (2) delineate drainage basins for ungaged sites, (3) download drainage-basin polygons to a shapefile, (4) compute selected basin characteristics for delineated drainage basins, (5) estimate selected streamflow statistics for ungaged points on a stream, (6) print map views, (7) retrieve information for U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations, and (8) get help on using StreamStats.

StreamStats was designed for national application, with each state, territory, or group of states responsible for creating unique geospatial datasets and regression equations to compute selected streamflow statistics. With the cooperation of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, StreamStats has been implemented for Oklahoma and is available at

The Oklahoma StreamStats application covers 69 processed hydrologic units and most of the state of Oklahoma. Basin characteristics available for computation include contributing drainage area, contributing drainage area that is unregulated by Natural Resources Conservation Service floodwater retarding structures, mean-annual precipitation at the drainage-basin outlet for the period 1961-1990, 10-85 channel slope (slope between points located at 10 percent and 85 percent of the longest flow-path length upstream from the outlet), and percent impervious area. The Oklahoma StreamStats application interacts with the National Streamflow Statistics database, which contains the peak-flow regression equations in a previously published report. Fourteen peak-flow (flood) frequency statistics are available for computation in the Oklahoma StreamStats application. These statistics include the peak flow at 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year recurrence intervals for rural, unregulated streams; and the peak flow at 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year recurrence intervals for rural streams that are regulated by Natural Resources Conservation Service floodwater retarding structures. Basin characteristics and streamflow statistics cannot be computed for locations in playa basins (mostly in the Oklahoma Panhandle) and along main stems of the largest river systems in the state, namely the Arkansas, Canadian, Cimarron, Neosho, Red, and Verdigris Rivers, because parts of the drainage areas extend outside of the processed hydrologic units.