Interpreting historical streamflow data from a third-order Coastal Plain watershed: runoff response to storm events.
Hydrological studies in the Southeastern U.S. have primarily focused on runoff generation processes in
This study describes relationships between seasonal rainfall patterns and stream flow for a third order watershed, Turkey Creek, using ten years of historical rainfall and stream flow data (1964 1973). Storm event runoff-rainfall ratios were used to describe baseline runoff as a function of season and rainfall amount. It was hypothesized that runoff-rainfall ratios are smaller during the summer season and greater in the winter due to generally reduced flows as a result of increased evapotranspiration (ET) from the forests during summer-fall, and saturated soils with sustained flows in winter-spring. Alternatively, runoff-rainfall ratios may be directly proportional to the antecedent soil moisture condition (as estimated by rainfall amount during the 5 and 30 days preceding the storm event). Results showed statistically significantly (p = 0.01) higher runoff rainfall ratios for storms occurring during wet antecedent conditions than for dry antecedent conditions.