Managing Arid and Semi-Arid Watersheds

Beaver Creek Watershed Stream Data

Streamflow was measured using the Beaver Creek, supercritical, trapezoidal flume on the 18 pilot watersheds (Baker 1986). Larger control sections developed to measure flow in excess of 28.3 m3/sec but with sufficient precision for long-term hydrologic investigations were located on Woods Canyon (WS19) and Bar M Canyon (WS 20), two operational-scale watersheds (Brown 1969). Streamflow from the 24 subwatersheds established in the early 1970s was measured in 0.6-m (2-ft) H-flumes with a maximum capacity of 0.3 m3/sec.

Map of Beaver Creek streams and watersheds

Streamflow data were collected using FW-1 and Fischer-Potter (F-P) water level recorders. The strip charts and tapes were edited and computerized. The data were then processed through programs to produce data files containing daily, annual, CFS, and event information. The following is a brief description of the files that are available (see documentation for lists and formats of files).

  • Raw input flow files - data of time and water depths from recording strip charts and punch tapes for WYs 1957 through 1982.
  • Annual streamflow files - include monthly, seasonal (summer and winter), and annual flow volume (acre-feet); date, time, and cfs of 3 largest discharges for both summer and winter runoff events for WYs 1957 through 1982.
  • Daily streamflow files - daily flow volume (cubic feet), amount estimated, type of runoff (derived from rainfall, snowmelt, or a mixture), and time and amount of daily peak discharge (cfs) for WYs 1957 through 1982.
  • CFS files - date, time, cfs, error estimate, and calculations of discharge for baseflow and interflow by the Bethamy and Coweeta methods at selected break points on hydrographs. This file does not include flow initiation and termination. These are in the following event files for WYs 1957 through 1982.
  • Event data files - includes dates and times, event start, peak flow, and end; watershed area (acres); starting, peak, and ending discharge (cfs) of each storm; total storm runoff, baseflow, interflow, rapid flow, stormflow, stormflow to peak, Coweeta quick flow, quickflow before peak, Coweeta delayed flow 1 and 2 (all in inches); total storm time and time to peak in hours, Bethlammy constant; Coweeta rise constant; minimum amount of stormflow per event; minimum peak per event (csm); and minimum time between events in hours for Wys 1957 through 1982.
  • Annual peak discharge for each watershed and water year (1957 through 1982) are included. The discharges are expressed in m3 / sec per ha (cubic feet per square miles) (csm) so flow from areas of different sizes are comparable.
  • sediment files -
  • Streamflow nutrient files - water quality information including conductivity ( ), and amounts in ppm of Ca, Mg, K, Na, NH4, NO3, PO4, and total P.


Baker, Jr., M.B. Compiler. 1999. History of research in the Central Highlands of Arizona. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-29. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Baker, M. B., Jr. 1986. A supercritical flume for measuring sediment-laden streamflow. Water Resources Research 22:847-851.

Baker, M.B., Jr. 1982. Hydrologic regimes of forested areas in the Beaver Creek watershed. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-90.

Brown, H. E. 1969. A combined control-metering section for gaging large streams. Water Resources Research 5:999-894.

Publications using data from the Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed must include the following paragraph:

Some data used in this publication were obtained by scientists of the Beaver Creek Watershed Project and were made available through the Managing Arid and Semi-arid Watersheds website ( This publication has not been reviewed by those scientists. The Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed is operated and maintained by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado.