Paper No. JAWRA-11-0145-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
Reconstructions of Soil Moisture for the Upper Colorado River Basin Using Tree-Ring Chronologies1
Article first published online: 18 APR 2012
© 2012 American Water Resources Association.
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 849–858, August 2012
How to Cite
Anderson, S., Tootle, G. and Grissino-Mayer, H. (2012), Reconstructions of Soil Moisture for the Upper Colorado River Basin Using Tree-Ring Chronologies. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 48: 849–858. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2012.00651.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 18 APR 2012
- Received November 15, 2011; accepted February 8, 2012.
- soil moisture;
- tree-ring chronologies;
- Upper Colorado River Basin;
Anderson, SallyRose, Glenn Tootle, and Henri Grissino-Mayer, 2012. Reconstructions of Soil Moisture for the Upper Colorado River Basin Using Tree-Ring Chronologies. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(4): 849-858. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2012.00651.x
Abstract: Soil moisture is an important factor in the global hydrologic cycle, but existing reconstructions of historic soil moisture are limited. We used tree-ring chronologies to reconstruct annual soil moisture in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Gridded soil moisture data were spatially regionalized using principal components analysis and k-nearest neighbor techniques. We correlated moisture sensitive tree-ring chronologies in and adjacent to the UCRB with regional soil moisture and tested the relationships for temporal stability. Chronologies that were positively correlated and stable for the calibration period were retained. We used stepwise linear regression to identify the best predictor combinations for each soil moisture region. The regressions explained 42-78% of the variability in soil moisture data. We performed reconstructions for individual soil moisture grid cells to enhance understanding of the disparity in reconstructive skill across the regions. Reconstructions that used chronologies based on ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) and pinyon pines (Pinus edulis) explained more variance in the datasets. Reconstructed soil moisture data was standardized and compared with standardized reconstructed streamflow and snow water equivalent data from the same region. Soil moisture and other hydrologic variables were highly correlated, indicating reconstructions of soil moisture in the UCRB using tree-ring chronologies successfully represent hydrologic trends.