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I'm a hydrologist with a good background in GIS. I'm looking for a reference (Methodology, Technical guide) for identification of temporary, intermittent and perennial streams. I google and only found this reference for North Carolina.Is there any standard reference guide for such an identification?

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I'm not sure if this is a standard per se, but I found it useful. These definitions are from a 1923 publication of the United States Department of the Interior entitled Outline of Ground-Water Hydrology. Here is the link to the PDF and the specific definitions below can be found on pages 57-58. Hope this helps.

Perennial:

  • A perennial stream, or stretch of a stream, is one which flows continuously. Perennial streams are generally fed in part by springs, and their upper surfaces generally stand lower than the water table in the localities through which they flow.

Intermittent streams are divided into spring-fed intermittent streams and surface-fed intermittent streams.

  • A spring-fed intermittent stream, or stretch of a stream, is one that flows only at certain times when it receives water from springs. The intermittent character of streams of this type is generally due to fluctuations of the water table whereby the stream channels stand a part of the time below and a part of the time above the water table. This is the ordinary type of intermittent stream.

  • A surface-fed intermittent stream, or stretch of a stream, is one that flows during protracted periods when it receives water from some surface source, generally the gradual and long-continued melting of snow in a mountainous or other cold tributary area. The term may be arbitrarily restricted to streams or stretches of streams that flow continuously during periods of at least one month.

Ephemeral:

  • An ephemeral stream, or stretch of a stream, is one that flows only in direct response to precipitation. It receives no water from springs and no long-continued supply from melting snow or other surface source. Its stream channel is at all times above the water table. The term may be arbitrarily restricted to streams or stretches of streams that do not flow continuously during periods of as much as one month.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much @Kurt. But my question is about identification methods of these and to their definitions. $\endgroup$ – BBG_GIS Mar 9 '18 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ @wetland I think Kurt's point is: Look for the water. In any particular case, where the water comes from will give you your answer. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Mar 10 '18 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Spencer I think so. I didn't read the USGS document that Kurt recommended me. It's great. $\endgroup$ – BBG_GIS Mar 10 '18 at 17:27

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