Montana Department of Transportation

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Research

Regional Regression Equations Based on Channel-Width Characteristics to Estimate Peak-Flow Frequencies at Ungauged Sites in Montana Using Data through Water Year 2011

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MDT uses peak-flow frequency data (i.e. 100-year flood) to design highway infrastructure, secure floodplain permits, and perform stream restoration activities. The USGS in cooperation with MDT will develop regression equations which use channel-width as a predictor to provide peak-flow frequency estimates to MDT. The research will develop channel-width based regression equations that could increase accuracy and reduce uncertainty when determining flood magnitudes and frequencies. In addition, channel-width measurements are commonly obtained through on-site surveys, this project will evaluate the use of aerial photography and other remote measurement methods to quickly estimate channel widths to reduce the need for on-site surveys.