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    Author(s): James N. Kochenderfer; Mary Beth Adams; Gary W. Miller; David J. Helvey
    Date: 2007
    Source: Res. Pap. NRS-3. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 24 p.
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.7 MB)


    Data collected since 1951 on the Fernow Experimental Forest near Parsons, West Virginia, and at a gaging station on the nearby Cheat River since 1913 were used to evaluate factors affecting large peakflows on forested watersheds. Treatments ranged from periodic partial cuts to complete deforestation using herbicides. Total storm precipitation and average storm precipitation intensity were the most significant variables affecting peakflows, and were far more important than timber harvesting activites. Since January 1913, of the 20 highest-ranked peakflows on the Cheat River at the Parsons gaging site, 11 have occurred since 1984 during a period of limited timber harvesting. These results support earlier findings that forests do not prevent floods and that prudent forest harvesting operations do not increase large flood peakflows.

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    Kochenderfer, James N.; Adams, Mary Beth; Miller, Gary W.; Helvey, David J. 2007. Factors affecting large peakflows on Appalachian watersheds: lessons from the Fernow Experimental Forest. Res. Pap. NRS-3. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 24 p.


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    forest harvesting, floods, watershed research, peakflows

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