Estimation of daily stream flow of southeastern coastal plain watersheds by combining estimated magnitude and sequence
Commonly used methods to predict streamflow at ungauged watersheds implicitly predict streamflow magnitude and temporal sequence concurrently. An alternative approach that has not been fully explored is the conceptualization of streamflow as a composite of two separable components of magnitude and sequence, where each component is estimated separately and then combined. Magnitude is modeled using the flow duration curve (FDC), whereas sequence is modeled by transferring streamflow sequence of gauged watershed(s). This study tests the applicability of the approach on watersheds ranging in size from about 25-7,226 km2 in Southeastern Coastal Plain (U.S.) with substantial surface storage of wetlands. A 19-point regionalized FDC is developed to estimate streamflow magnitude using the three most selected variables (drainage area, hydrologic soil index, and maximum 24-h precipitation with a recurrence interval of 100 years) by a greedy-heuristic search process. The results of validation on four watersheds (Trent River, North Carolina: 02092500; Satilla River, Georgia: 02226500; Black River, South Carolina: 02136000; and Coosawhatchie River, South Carolina: 02176500) yielded Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency values of 0.86-0.98 for the predicted magnitude and 0.09-0.84 for the predicted daily streamflow over a simulation period of 1960-2010. The prediction accuracy of the method on two headwater watersheds at Santee Experimental Forest in coastal South Carolina was weak, but comparable to simulations by MIKE-SHE.