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Analysis of the Magnitude and Frequency of Peak Discharge in the Navajo Nation and Surrounding Region, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

Project Chief: Scott Waltemeyer
Cooperator: Bureau of Indian Affairs
Period of Project: August 1977 through 2006
Publication: Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5306, Analysis of the Magnitude and Frequency of Peak Discharges for the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico

SUMMARY

Estimates of the magnitude and frequency of peak discharges on unregulated streams at gaging stations or ungaged stream sites in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico (fig. 1) are necessary for flood hazard mapping. The 100-year recurrence interval is mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for mapping flood-hazard areas for housing development. The magnitude of the peak discharge with a 100-year recurrence interval has an annual exceedance frequency of 1-percent and occurs, on average, at least once in a 100-year period. The United States Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to map flood-hazard areas for the Navajo Nation. Engineers and hydrologists of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, USACE, and Navajo Nation requested the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) update estimates of peak discharge magnitude for gaging stations in the region, and to update regional equations for estimation of peak discharge and frequency at ungaged sites.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this project is to update estimates of the magnitude and frequency of peak discharge at gaging stations on the basis of 13 additional years (since 1986) of recorded data and improved equations for estimates of magnitude and frequency of peak discharge at ungaged sites. The estimates will be determined using improved geographical information system (GIS) methods for determination of basin and climatic characteristics. Annual peak-discharge data for the period of record through 1999 will be used for all gaging stations. Data from outside the boundaries of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico also will be used to ensure that all representative regional data will be used to develop the equations. The magnitudes of peak discharges will be determined for recurrence intervals of 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 years for 123 gaging stations on streams with unregulated flows that generally had 10 or more years of record. The equations for estimation of peak discharges at ungaged sites will be developed for three flood regions. Two regions are the same as those (Flood Region 8 and Region 11) in the report by Thomas and others (1997). The third Region will include sites that are located above 7,500 feet in elevation.

REFERENCES CITED

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