Get access

A multi-species dendroclimatic reconstruction of Chilko River streamflow, British Columbia, Canada

Authors

  • Sarah J. Hart,

    1. University of Victoria Tree-Ring Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3R4, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dan J. Smith,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Victoria Tree-Ring Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3R4, Canada
    • University of Victoria Tree-Ring Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3R4, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John J. Clague

    1. Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Dendroclimatological data were used to reconstruct the discharge history of Chilko River, which drains a glacierized watershed in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. We correlated ring-width records from Engelmann spruce (ES) (Picea engelmanni) and mountain hemlock (MH) (Tsuga mertensiana) trees to historical hydroclimate data. Over the period of record, spruce and hemlock radial growth correlates significantly with temperature and snow depth, respectively. We found that a multi-species approach provided a better model fit and reconstructive power. Using these relationships, we developed generalized linear models for mean June, July, and June-July discharge. The proxy records provide insights into streamflow variability of a typical Coast Mountains river over the past 240 years and confirm the long-term influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on hydroclimatic regimes in the region. A relationship also exists between the reconstructed June-July discharge record and the North Pacific (NP) Index, suggesting that winter atmospheric patterns over the North Pacific influence the hydrology of coastal British Columbia. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary