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Current Report
Flood-Frequency Characteristics of Wisconsin Streams

Water-Resources Investigations Report 03–4250


ABSTRACT - Flood-frequency characteristics for 312 gaged sites on Wisconsin streams are presented for recurrence intervals of 2 to 100 years using flood-peak data collected through water year 2000. Equations of the relations between flood-frequency and drainage-basin characteristics were developed by multiple-regression analyses. Flood-frequency characteristics for ungaged sites on unregulated, rural streams can be estimated by use of these equations. The state was divided into five areas with similar physiographic characteristics. The most significant basin characteristics are drainage area, main-channel slope, soil permeability, storage, rainfall intensity, and forest cover. The standard error of prediction for the equation for the 100-year flood discharge ranges from 22 to 44 percent in the state. A graphical method for estimating flood-frequency characteristics of regulated streams was developed from the relation of discharge and drainage area. Graphs for the major regulated streams are presented.

ERRATA - There was a typographic error in an early-release of the report. In Appendix Table A2, Douglas Creek near Prentice, Wis. (Station 05361420) the correct Q100 by regression is 1,301 cfs, and the correct Flood-frequency area is 3.

Thumbmail of Wisconsin map showing areas of revised soil permeabilitiesSeveral errors in Plate 2 have been discovered and corrected in the version of the plate contained on this page and in the ARC export file in the Data portion of this site. Click here to see a map of areas where the infiltration rates are different than the plate contained in the printed report. If you would like a paper copy of the new plate, please contact John Walker.

Plate 1 - Map of Wisconsin showing location of streamflow-gaging stations, crest-stage partial-record stations, and regulation stations - 709 Kb PDF

Plate 2 - Map of Wisconsin showing soil permeability (revised) - 4,403 Kb PDF

Erratum Map showing infiltration rate changes

Table A-1. Flood discharges at selected recurrence intervals and WRC skew for streamflow-gaging stations in the Wisconsin flood-frequency network (excel)

Table A-2. Drainage-basin characteristics for rural streamflow-gaging stations in Wisconsin (excel)

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