Rachel Esralew's MSAG Project
My Capstone project was done in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Oklahoma Water Science Center and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB). Oklahoma is preparing its 50-year comprehensive Water Plan. As a part of the plan, OWRB has expressed a need to better characterize hydrologic characteristics of streams. However, many streams where they wish to better understand streamflow dynamics are not currently monitored by data collection equipment (or gages).
My project involved the development of numeric models to estimate median and low-flow statistics at ungaged stream locations by using streamflow data at gaged locations and digital terrain, flow network, geologic, climate, and landcover data. In addition, I used these variables to develop numeric models to estimate the probability of extreme low-flow and intermittency for most ungaged streams in the state. Most of these models will be available on the USGS StreamStats web application and will be available for use by the public. This information will be used specifically by the OWRB to explore new surface-water permitting options under the Comprehensive Water Plan without spending additional funding on new gaging equipment or waiting until a long-term streamflow record is available.