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Peak Flow Calculator


The Forest Service Peak Flow Calculator predicts peak flood flow rate for a given storm from a small watershed. The model uses Curve Number technology given precipitation and runoff, as from ERMiT, plus other parameters.

Overview and Applicability

The Forest Service Peak Flow Calculator estimates peak flow for burned areas using Curve Number technology.

User interface for the Peak Flow Calculator.
User interface for the Peak Flow Calculator.


  • Storm runoff
  • Storm precipitation
  • Watershed area
  • Watershed flow length
  • Average watershed gradient


Estimated peak flow rate (m3/s)

Restrictions and Limitations

USDA Forest Service, Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory is not responsible for results of post-fire runoff estimation methods, but provides information on how to use these methods. The choice of the method is the user's, and he/she is solely responsible for the estimation results.


Elliot, William. Peak Flow Calculator. Available online at

Release Notes

Ver. 2012.08.02.

National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels
National Priority Research Areas: 
Watershed Management and Restoration
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Air, Water and Aquatic Environments
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Water & Watersheds