Science and Products
The USGS has a long history of cooperative investigations with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and state highway agencies to provide data and information to address various issues related to water resources and the Nation’s transportation infrastructure. These issues cover a wide spectrum and include items such as regional flow statistics, flood documentation, regional stream...
Low streamflow has great ecological importance as it defines the minimum extent (and carrying capacity) of in-stream habitat and affects biota composition and distribution, and species trophic structure.
Water availability for ungauged rivers: an integrative, multi-model approach to estimate water availability at ungauged rivers across the United States
There has been increasing attention placed on the need for water availability information at ungauged locations, particularly related to balancing human and ecological needs for water. Critical to assessing water availability is the necessity for daily streamflow time series; however, most of the rivers in the United States are ungauged. This proposal leverages over $1M currently allocated to...
Bias correction of simulated historical daily streamflow at ungauged locations by using independently estimated flow duration curves
In many simulations of historical daily streamflow distributional bias arising from the distributional properties of residuals has been noted. This bias often presents itself as an underestimation of high streamflow and an overestimation of low streamflow. Here, 1168 streamgages across the conterminous USA, having at least 14 ...Farmer, William H.; Over, Thomas M.; Kiang, Julie E.
Continuing progress toward a national assessment of water availability and use
Executive SummaryThe Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111—11) was passed into law on March 30, 2009. Subtitle F, also known as the SECURE Water Act, calls for the establishment of a “national water availability and use assessment program” within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS issued the first report on the...Evenson, Eric J.; Jones, Sonya A.; Barber, Nancy L.; Barlow, Paul M.; Blodgett, David L.; Bruce, Breton W.; Douglas-Mankin, Kyle; Farmer, William H.; Fischer, Jeffrey M.; Hughes, William B.; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Kiang, Julie E.; Maupin, Molly A.; Reeves, Howard W.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Stanton, Jennifer S.; Wagner, Chad R.; Wilson, Jennifer T.
Guidelines for determining flood flow frequency—Bulletin 17C
Accurate estimates of flood frequency and magnitude are a key component of any effective nationwide flood risk management and flood damage abatement program. In addition to accuracy, methods for estimating flood risk must be uniformly and consistently applied because management of the Nation’s water and related land resources is a collaborative...England, John F.; Cohn, Timothy A.; Faber, Beth A.; Stedinger, Jery R.; Thomas, Wilbert O.; Veilleux, Andrea G.; Kiang, Julie E.; Mason, Robert R.
SWToolbox: A surface-water tool-box for statistical analysis of streamflow time series
This report is a user guide for the low-flow analysis methods provided with version 1.0 of the Surface Water Toolbox (SWToolbox) computer program. The software combines functionality from two software programs—U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) SWSTAT and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) DFLOW. Both of these programs have been used primarily...Kiang, Julie E.; Flynn, Kate; Zhai, Tong; Hummel, Paul; Granato, Gregory
Improving predictions of hydrological low-flow indices in ungaged basins using machine learning
We compare the ability of eight machine-learning models (elastic net, gradient boosting, kernel-k-nearest neighbors, two variants of support vector machines, M5-cubist, random forest, and a meta-learning ensemble M5-cubist model) and four baseline models (ordinary kriging, a unit area discharge model, and two variants of censored regression)...Worland, Scott C.; Farmer, William H.; Kiang, Julie E.
Application of at-site peak-streamflow frequency analyses for very low annual exceedance probabilities
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has investigated statistical methods for probabilistic flood hazard assessment to provide guidance on very low annual exceedance probability (AEP) estimation of peak-streamflow frequency and the quantification of corresponding uncertainties using...Asquith, William H.; Kiang, Julie E.; Cohn, Timothy A.
A survey of uncertainty in stage-discharge rating curves and streamflow records in the United States
No abstract available.Kiang, Julie E.; Mason,, Robert R.; Cohn, Timothy A.
Rating curve uncertainty: A comparison of estimation methods
The USGS is engaged in both internal development and collaborative efforts to evaluate existing methods for characterizing the uncertainty of streamflow measurements (gaugings), stage-discharge relations (ratings), and, ultimately, the streamflow records derived from them. This paper provides a brief overview of two candidate methods that may be...Constantinescu, George; Garcia, Marcelo H.; Hanes, Dan; Mason, Jr., Robert R.; Kiang, Julie E.; Cohn, Timothy A.
Accelerating advances in continental domain hydrologic modeling
In the past, hydrologic modeling of surface water resources has mainly focused on simulating the hydrologic cycle at local to regional catchment modeling domains. There now exists a level of maturity among the catchment, global water security, and land surface modeling communities such that these communities are converging toward continental...Archfield, Stacey A.; Clark, Martyn; Arheimer, Berit; Hay, Lauren E.; McMillan, Hilary; Kiang, Julie E.; Seibert, Jan; Hakala, Kirsti; Bock, Andrew R.; Wagener, Thorsten; Farmer, William H.; Andreassian, Vazken; Attinger, Sabine; Viglione, Alberto; Knight, Rodney; Markstrom, Steven; Over, Thomas M.
Evaluation of statistical and rainfall-runoff models for predicting historical daily streamflow time series in the Des Moines and Iowa River watersheds
Daily records of streamflow are essential to understanding hydrologic systems and managing the interactions between human and natural systems. Many watersheds and locations lack streamgages to provide accurate and reliable records of daily streamflow. In such ungaged watersheds, statistical tools and rainfall-runoff models are used to estimate...Farmer, William H.; Knight, Rodney R.; Eash, David A.; Kasey J. Hutchinson; Linhart, S. Mike; Christiansen, Daniel E.; Archfield, Stacey A.; Over, Thomas M.; Kiang, Julie E.
A comparison of methods to predict historical daily streamflow time series in the southeastern United States
Effective and responsible management of water resources relies on a thorough understanding of the quantity and quality of available water. Streamgages cannot be installed at every location where streamflow information is needed. As part of its National Water Census, the U.S. Geological Survey is planning to provide streamflow predictions for...Farmer, William H.; Archfield, Stacey A.; Over, Thomas M.; Hay, Lauren E.; LaFontaine, Jacob H.; Kiang, Julie E.
A comparison of hydrologic models for ecological flows and water availability
Robust hydrologic models are needed to help manage water resources for healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable water supplies for people, but there is a lack of comprehensive model comparison studies that quantify differences in streamflow predictions among model applications developed to answer management questions. We assessed differences in...Caldwell, Peter V; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Sun, Ge; Kiang, Julie E.; Butcher, John B; Eddy, Michelle C; Hay, Lauren E.; LaFontaine, Jacob H.; Hain, Ernie F.; Nelson, Stacy C; McNulty, Steve G