Skip to Main Content
Quick response small catchment monitoring techniques for comparing postfire rehabilitation treatment effectivenessAuthor(s): Peter R. Robichaud; Robert E. Brown
Source: First interagency conference on research in the watersheds: October 27-30, 2003. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: 663-667
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: Download Publication (306 KB)
DescriptionIncreased runoff and erosion commonly occur after wildfires with the onset of precipitation events. Various erosion mitigation treatments are often used after wildfires to reduce flooding and sedimentation. The effectiveness of these treatments has not been well documented in the literature; therefore we undertook a rapid response approach (within four weeks following fire suppression) to install small catchment monitoring systems to compare treatment effectiveness. A paired watershed approach uses two adjacent and similar catchments (5-20 ac) after wildfires, treating one catchment and using the other catchment as a control. We developed a rapid response monitoring system that can be installed in a few weeks to monitor sediment yield and runoff response. These systems are usually left in place for three to five years.
Each installation has a complete weather station and electronic measuring devices to record streamflow and sediment accumulation in a storage basin. The sediment basins are cleaned out manually after each storm event in order to relate the event (intensity, amount and duration) to runoff and sediment yield. The data is automatically transmitted each day via cell phone or radio transmission to our computer server, thus making the data available daily on our web page. We have installed six paired catchments to date in Colorado, Washington, two in California, and two in Montana. Preliminary results suggest that 1) first year storm events produce the largest runoff and sediment response and 2) treatment effectiveness is less with high intensity short duration storm events. This rapid response protocol allows for quick installation of a monitoring system to provide an assessment of treatment effectiveness.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRobichaud, Peter R.; Brown, Robert E. 2003. Quick response small catchment monitoring techniques for comparing postfire rehabilitation treatment effectiveness. First interagency conference on research in the watersheds: October 27-30, 2003. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: 663-667
Keywordserosion, sedimentation, paired watersheds, instrumentation, data logger
- Evaluating the effectiveness of contour-felled log erosion barriers as a post-fire runoff and erosion mitigation treatment in the western United States
- Postfire rehabilitation treatments: are we learning what works?
- Silt fences: An economical technique for measuring hillslope soil erosion
XML: View XML