Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): R. Dan Moore; S.M. Wondzell
    Date: 2005
    Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 41(4): 763-784
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (2.39 MB)


    The Pacific Northwest encompasses a range of hydrologic regimes that can be broadly characterized as either coastal (where rain and rain on snow are dominant) or interior (where snowmelt is dominant). Forest harvesting generally increases the fraction of precipitation that is available to become streamflow, increases rates of snowmelt, and modifies the runoff pathways by which water flows to the stream channel. Harvesting may potentially decrease the magnitude of hyporheic exchange flow through increases in fine sediment and clogging of bed materials and through changes in channel morphology, although the ecological consequences of these changes are unclear. In small headwater catchments, forest harvesting generally increases annual runoff and peak flows and reduces the severity of low flows, but exceptions have been observed for each effect. Low flows appear to be more sensitive to transpiration from vegetation in the riparian zone than in the rest of the catchment. Although it appears that harvesting increased only the more frequent, geomorphically benign peak flows in several studies, in others the treatment effect increased with return period. Recovery to pre-harvest conditions appeared to occur within about 10 to 20 years in some coastal catchments but may take many decades in mountainous, snow dominated catchments.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to 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.


    Moore, R. Dan; Wondzell, S.M. 2005. Physical hydrology and the effects of forest harvesting in the Pacific Northwest: a review. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 41(4): 763-784


    streamflow, forest harvesting, headwater, peak flow, low flow, water yield, small catchment, Pacific Northwest

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page