Arkansas River Gage Station at Kinsley Closed

After over 65 years as a river gaging station, the Arkansas River gage located at Kinsley, Kansas, was closed as of October 1, 2009.  Budget constraints and lack of significant flows were major factors cited in the termination of the gage. 

Established on September 1, 1944, this river station located 2 miles east of Kinsley had seen numerous equipment upgrades.  The initial wire-weight gage was placed in service on September 1, 1944, and a Stevens graphic recorder was installed in a 36-inch steel shelter and well that same November.   Other digital recorders followed over the next 20 years, along with a Binary-Decimal transmitter (BDT) in 1965-1966.  The first satellite transmitter was installed in July 1994, followed by an newer satellite transmitter in June 1997. 

The greatest flood witnessed at the gage occurred on June 21, 1965 as a result of the deluge-like rainfall in eastern Colorado during the previous week.  As the flood of June 1965 progressed eastward along the Arkansas River, the maximum flows diminshed from 170,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) at the Colorado-Kansas state line, to a discharge of 49,800 CFS at the Kinsley river gage...gage height 17.6 feet...extending over a mile wide on the left (north) bank.  Most of the volume losses were due to rapid infiltration of flood waters into the sandy soil, and shallow groundwater aquifer.

Thanks to the US Geological Survey's Station Description for the Arkansas River at Kinsley for the historical gage information.

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