Skip to Main Content
Deforestation effects on soil moisture, streamflow, and water balance in the central AppalachiansAuthor(s): James H. Patric; James H. Patric
Source: Res. Pap. NE-259. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 12 p.
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (3.3 MB)
DescriptionSoil moisture, precipitation, and streamflow were measured on three watersheds in West Virginia, two deforested and one forested. Water content of barren soil always exceeded that of forest soil throughout the growing season and especially in dry weather. Streamflow increased 10 inches annually on the watersheds that were cleared, most of the increase occurring between July and October. Higher soil moisture was accompanied by large instantaneous peak flows during small storms in the growing season but this peak effect was minor in large stoms and in all storms during the dormant season. With precipitation, streamflow, interception losses, and soil-moisture change estimated to comparable levels of precision, the water balance equation was solved for transpiration with sufiicient sensitivity to demonstrate the effects of tree leaf growth. After tree leaves were fully grown, calculated evaporative losses from the forested watershed somewhat exceeded potential rates as long as unmeasured runoff (leakage) was disre arded. With all components of the water balance quantified, including leakage, estimated soil-moisture loss by transpiration was at rates close to potential. Estimated leakage seemed consistent with observed stream behavior.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- 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.
CitationPatric, James H. 1973. Deforestation effects on soil moisture, streamflow, and water balance in the central Appalachians. Res. Pap. NE-259. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 12 p.
- How soil moisture mediates the influence of transpiration on streamflow at hourly to interannual scales in a forested catchment
- Effects of climate variability on forest hydrology and carbon sequestration on the Santee Experimental Forest in coastal South Carolina
- Simulated water budget of a small forested watershed in the continental/maritime hydroclimatic region of the United States
XML: View XML