Techniques for Estimating Selected Streamflow Characteristics of Rural, Unregulated Streams in Ohio

By G. F. Koltun and Matthew T. Whitehead

Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4068

In cooperation with the 
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water
Ohio Department of Transportation, and the
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration


This report provides equations for estimating mean annual streamflow, mean monthly streamflows, harmonic mean streamflow, and streamflow quartiles (the 25th-, 50th-, and 75th-percentile streamflows) as a function of selected basin characteristics for rural, unregulated streams in Ohio. The equations were developed from streamflow statistics and basin-characteristics data for as many as 219 active or discontinued streamflow-gaging stations on rural, unregulated streams in Ohio with 10 or more years of homogenous daily streamflow record. Streamflow statistics and basin-characteristics data for the 219 stations are presented in this report.

Simple equations (based on drainage area only) and best-fit equations (based on drainage area and at least two other basin characteristics) were developed by means of ordinary least-squares regression techniques. Application of the best-fit equations generally involves quantification of basin characteristics that require or are facilitated by use of a geographic information system. In contrast, the simple equations can be used with information that can be obtained without use of a geographic information system; however, the simple equations have larger prediction errors than the best-fit equations and exhibit geographic biases for most streamflow statistics. The best-fit equations should be used instead of the simple equations whenever possible.

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