A Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was constructed to model flow in the Miller
Creek watershed using readily available data. Miller Creek is an urban trout stream flowing
through Duluth/Hermantown, Minnesota. Miller Creek starts near the Duluth Airport, flows
south through Duluth and discharges into the St. Louis River estuary of Lake Superior. In 2008
and near its mouth, Miller Creek had a mean annual flow of 9.1 cfs, a recorded peak flow of 291
cfs, and base flow of less than 0.1 cfs. Despite extensive commercial and some residential
development in the Miller Creek watershed over the past 30 years, Miller Creek has still a
naturally reproducing Brook Trout fishery. The urban development included the filling of
wetlands to create parking lots, the removal of riparian tree cover, and the introduction of storm
water runoff from impervious surfaces (SSWCD, 2001). These changes have lead to elevated
stream temperatures, and consequently Miller Creek was put on the list of impaired waters by the
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in 2007. The Minnesota Pollution Control
Agency (MPCA) has mandated a temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study. This
report summarizes the development of a Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) for Miller
Creek in support of the TMDL study.
The model simulates continuous time series of stream flow at 15-minute time intervals in Miller
Creek using observed precipitation, stream bathymetry, watershed hydrogeology, and tributary
and storm sewer characteristics as input. The model was calibrated and validated against flow
data from 2008, and is able predict mean flows, peak flows, base flows, and storm runoff
volumes. The SWMM was also used to simulate the effect of a a few stream alteration scenarios
on the streamflows in Miller Creek/
Herb, William R.; Stefan, Heinz G.; Erickson, Timothy O..
Streamflow Modeling of Miller Creek, Duluth, Minnesota.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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