Event Title

Streamflow Reconstruction from Tree Rings for the Southern and Central Wasatch Front

Presenter Information

Matthew Bekker

Location

ECC 216

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 1:50 PM

End Date

4-3-2012 2:10 PM

Description

A long-term perspective on water resource variability is necessary to plan adequately for future urban growth along Utah’s Wasatch Front. Yet, instrumented gauges provide at most only 100 years of precipitation and streamflow records. Moisture sensitive tree-ring chronologies can be used to develop millennial-length reconstructions of these variables, but there are no published reconstructions, and very few publically available chronologies for northern Utah. The Wasatch Mountains are also of interest climatologically due to their position at the apex of a dipole in precipitation variability between the southwestern and northwestern U.S., and an extensive spatial network of chronologies would help to clarify this phenomenon. We present 300-year reconstructions for the Provo and Weber Rivers and Big Cottonwood Creek, which serve Utah’s largest cities, developed from several new tree-ring chronologies and from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. The chronologies are primarily from pinyon pine (Pinus edulis and P. monophylla), but also include Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). We used principal components analysis to extract the major mode of variability from the suite of chronologies, which was then used as the predictor of streamflow in a linear regression equation and ultimately to reconstruct flow back to A.D. 1694. Results suggest variability in streamflow that exceeds the extremes of historical records, and in combination with other chronologies developed by the Wasatch Dendroclimatology Research Group (WADR) provide novel information about spatial and temporal variability in water resources in the Wasatch Front. Future work will expand the sample depth and incorporate remnant wood, with potential to extend the reconstructions back 600-800 years before present.

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Apr 3rd, 1:50 PM Apr 3rd, 2:10 PM

Streamflow Reconstruction from Tree Rings for the Southern and Central Wasatch Front

ECC 216

A long-term perspective on water resource variability is necessary to plan adequately for future urban growth along Utah’s Wasatch Front. Yet, instrumented gauges provide at most only 100 years of precipitation and streamflow records. Moisture sensitive tree-ring chronologies can be used to develop millennial-length reconstructions of these variables, but there are no published reconstructions, and very few publically available chronologies for northern Utah. The Wasatch Mountains are also of interest climatologically due to their position at the apex of a dipole in precipitation variability between the southwestern and northwestern U.S., and an extensive spatial network of chronologies would help to clarify this phenomenon. We present 300-year reconstructions for the Provo and Weber Rivers and Big Cottonwood Creek, which serve Utah’s largest cities, developed from several new tree-ring chronologies and from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. The chronologies are primarily from pinyon pine (Pinus edulis and P. monophylla), but also include Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). We used principal components analysis to extract the major mode of variability from the suite of chronologies, which was then used as the predictor of streamflow in a linear regression equation and ultimately to reconstruct flow back to A.D. 1694. Results suggest variability in streamflow that exceeds the extremes of historical records, and in combination with other chronologies developed by the Wasatch Dendroclimatology Research Group (WADR) provide novel information about spatial and temporal variability in water resources in the Wasatch Front. Future work will expand the sample depth and incorporate remnant wood, with potential to extend the reconstructions back 600-800 years before present.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/27