Analysis of Ephemeral Flow in Aridlands

by Chester C. Kisiel, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Hydro. and Water Resour.; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ,
Lucien Duckstein, Prof. of Systems Engrg.; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ,
Martin M. Fogel, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Watershed Mgmt.; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 10, Pg. 1699-1717

Document Type: Journal Paper


An important parameter is found to be the flow duration, which describes the opportunity for natural recharge. Arid-land hydrology is, in effect, characterized by the absence of base flow, special precipitation patterns, and scarcity of data. A stochastic model of flow duration is developed for a stream near Tucson, AZ, using a regional model of rainfall. The number of flow events per summer seems to follow a Poisson distribution and that in winter, a geometric distribution, whereas the flow duration per event seems to follow a negative binomial distribution in both cases. Time series estimates of monthly streamflow of the Rillito Creek, AZ, are given to illustrate the correlation between various months and the difficulty of interpreting such time-lumped data.

Subject Headings: Flow duration | Flow distribution | Arid lands | Base flow | Hydrologic data | Rivers and streams | Parameters (statistics) | Flow patterns | Arizona | United States

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