Annual peak-flow data collected at U.S. Geological Survey streamgages in Minnesota and adjacent areas of neighboring states of Iowa and South Dakota were analyzed to develop and update regional regression equations that can be used to estimate the magnitude and frequency of peak streamflow for ungaged streams in Minnesota, excluding the Lake of the Woods-Rainy River Basin upstream from Kenora, Ontario, Canada. Hydraulic engineers use peak-flow frequency estimates to inform designs of bridges, culverts, and dams, and water managers use the estimates for regulation and planning activities. Peak-flow estimates are provided for the 66.7-, 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, and 0.2-percent annual exceedance probabilities (AEPs), which are equivalent to annual flood-frequency recurrence intervals of 1.5-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-years, respectively. The estimates were computed by applying the expected moments algorithm to fit a Pearson Type III distribution to the logarithms of annual peak flows for 298 streamgages based on annual peak-flow data collected through water year 2019. The study area is represented by six hydrologic regions delineated on the basis of a pattern of residuals of statewide regressions, using basin characteristics such as drainage area, main-channel slope, lake area, storage area, and mean annual runoff as explanatory variables. The concept and principles of hydrologic landscape units was used to validate the regions. Residual analysis of the regional regression equations was used to subsequently develop equations relating the peak flow estimates for selected AEPs using 17 characteristics tested as explanatory variables in the regression analysis.
The equations developed in this study can be used to produce AEPs within the six regions and to update equations developed in earlier, similar studies in Minnesota. Furthermore, updating the equations in StreamStats, a web-based geographic information system tool developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, will allow hydraulic engineers and water managers to obtain AEPs and basin characteristics for user-selected locations on streams through an interactive map.
|Title||Techniques for estimating the magnitude and frequency of peak flows on small streams in Minnesota, excluding the Rainy River Basin, based on data through water year 2019|
|Authors||Christopher A. Sanocki, Sara B. Levin|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Upper Midwest Water Science Center|