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Residual NBS
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Hydroclimate Synthesis and Summary

Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and Erie 1860-1899 Net Basin Supplies

Frank H. Quinn;
A methodology was developed to derive residual net basin supply (NBS) estimates from historical data for the period 1860-1899. Two primary objectives were identified: first, to retrieve, describe and report on NBS data for Lake Superior prior to 1900; second, to describe available flow information for Lakes Michigan-Huron and Lake Erie and limitations of using this data to derive NBS prior to 1900. The pre-1900 NBS were determined using the residual method, which requires determining the inflow, outflow and change in storage for each lake. The methods used to estimate pre-1900 connecting channel flows and lake-wide average beginning-of-month water levels to compute change in storage are described, and NBS were calculated. The 1860-1899 NBS data provide additional insight into the full range of NBS scenarios that have been experienced in the relatively recent past. However, because available data for this earlier period is limited, notably connecting channel flow data for the St. Clair and Detroit rivers, the NBS estimates are subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and partly as a result were not used directly in Lake Superior plan formulation and evaluation.
Superior, Michigan-Huron & Erie 1860-1899 Net Basin Supplies
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Main Topics
Hydroclimate Information
Questions We Asked
What are the historical NBS estimates & how have changes affected lake levels?
What impacts could climate variations have on levels?
Water Supply Sequences