Paper No. 00027 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.Discussions are open until February 1, 2002.
A TREE-RING RECONSTRUCTION OF STREAMFLOW FOR THE COLORADO FRONT RANGE†
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 561–569, June 2001
How to Cite
Woodhouse, C. A. (2001), A TREE-RING RECONSTRUCTION OF STREAMFLOW FOR THE COLORADO FRONT RANGE. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 37: 561–569. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2001.tb05493.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
- water resources planning;
- Colorado Front Range;
- streamflow reconstruction;
- tree rings;
- time-series analysis
ABSTRACT: Water resource planning is based primarily on 20th century instrumental records of climate and streamflow. These records are limited in length to approximately 100 years, in the best cases, and can reflect only a portion of the range of natural variability. The instrumental record neither can be used to gage the unusualness of 20th Century extreme low flow events, nor does it allow the detection of low-frequency variability that may underlie short-term variations in flow. In this study, tree rings are used to reconstruct mean annual streamflow for Middle Boulder Creek in the Colorado Front Range, a semi-arid region of rapid growth and development. The reconstruction is based on a stepwise regression equation that accounts for 70 percent of the variance in the instrumental record, and extends from 1703–1987. The reconstruction suggests that the instrumental record of streamflow for Middle Boulder Creek is not representative of flow in past centuries and that several low flow events in the 19th century were more persistent than any in the 20th century. The 1840s to early 1850s period of low flow is a particularly notable event and may have coincided with a period of low flow in the Upper Colorado River Basin.