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Trends in streamflow and suspended sediment after logging, North Fork Caspar CreekAuthor(s): Jack Lewis; Elizabeth T. Keppeler
Source: In: Standiford, Richard B.; Giusti, Gregory A.; Valachovic, Yana; Zielinski, William J.; Furniss, Michael J., technical editors. 2007. Proceedings of the redwood region forest science symposium: What does the future hold? Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-194. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 95-106
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (292 KB)
DescriptionStreamflow and suspended sediment were intensively monitored at fourteen gaging stations before and after logging a second-growth redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest. About 50 percent of the watershed was harvested, primarily by clear-cutting with skyline-cable systems. New road construction and tractor skidding were restricted to gently-sloping ridge top locations, and watercourse protections were enforced. Storm peak flows increased as much as 300 percent in clear-cut watersheds, but as antecedent wetness increased, percentage increases declined. In the first five to seven years after logging, the average two-year peak flow increased 27 percent in clear-cut watersheds and 15 percent in partially clear-cut watersheds. Changes in flows are attributable to reduced canopy interception and transpiration. Peak flows and flow volumes had recovered to near-pretreatment levels by about 10 years after logging, when renewed increases occurred from precommercial thinning. Annual suspended sediment loads in the years following logging increased 123 to 238 percent in four of the five clear-cut watersheds. Loads did not change significantly at most downstream sites as sediment was deposited in the main stem. Channel erosion and changes in storage appear to be important mechanisms for explaining suspended sediment trends at Caspar Creek. Ten years after logging, storm-event sediment yields at one clear-cut tributary were near pretreatment levels, but were elevated again in year 12. At another, yields have remained well above pretreatment levels in the 12 years since harvest.
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CitationLewis, Jack; Keppeler, Elizabeth T. 2007. Trends in Streamflow and Suspended Sediment After Logging, North Fork Caspar Creek. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Giusti, Gregory A.; Valachovic, Yana; Zielinski, William J.; Furniss, Michael J., technical editors. 2007. Proceedings of the redwood region forest science symposium: What does the future hold? Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-194. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 95-106
Keywordsclear-cutting, logging effects, peak flow, streamflow, suspended sediment
- Sediment yield response to sediment reduction strategies implemented for 10 years in watersheds managed for industrial forestry in northern California
- Impacts of logging on storm peak flows, flow volumes and suspended sediment loads in Caspar Creek, California
- Evaluating forest management effects on erosion, sediment, and runoff: Caspar Creek and northwestern California
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