Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Characteristics of stream low flows in eastern Oregon : their relationship with precipitation and watershed parameters

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  • Characteristics of low flows of nine streams in eastern Oregon were explored using long-term streamflow records. Year-to-year dependence of low flows is highly significant for streams in the Blue Mountain and the southeastern Oregon regions. Low streamflows increased over the period of record for seven of the selected streams. Flow duration curves, flow-date curves and low flow frequency curves were constructed for each stream. Flow per unit area is higher for streams in northeastern Oregon than streams in southeastern Oregon. Forecast equations for streamflow recessions were made for each stream. Forecasts are highly accurate for recession volume and August average flow except for Mill creek and Bridge Creek. Forecasts are poor for the later part of the water year. Even for the later part of the water year, highly accurate results are obtained when forecasts are made for shorter periods (about 40 days). Annual precipitation is fairly well-distributed over the whole year in eastern Oregon with July and August as the driest months. Streams in the Wallowa Mountain and southeastern Oregon regions showed higher trend similarities between summer low flows and precipitation than streams in the Blue Mountain region. Correlations between summer low flows and precipitation were highly significant for the Wallowa Mountain and the southeastern Oregon regions. Correlations between low flows and watershed parameters, as well as average annual precipitation, were found insignificant for all streams.
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