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): Reed M. Perkins; Julia A. Jones
    Date: 2008
    Source: Hydrologocal Processes, Vol. 22, p. 4949-4964
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (3.4 MB)

    Description

    Large floods are often attributed to the melting of snow during a rain event. This study tested how climate variability, snowpack presence, and basin physiography were related to storm hydrograph shape in three small (<1 km2) basins with old-growth forest in western Oregon. Relationships between hydrograph characteristics and precipitation were tested for approximately 800 storms over a nearly 30-year period. Analyses controlled for (1) snowpack presence/absence, (2) antecedent soil moisture, and (3) hillslope length and gradient. For small storms (<150 mm precipitation), controlling for precipitation, the presence of a snowpack on near-saturated soil increased the threshold of precipitation before hydrograph rise, extended the start lag, centroid lag, and duration of storm hydrographs, and increased the peak discharge. The presence of a snowpack on near-saturated soil sped up and steepened storm hydrographs in a basin with short steep slopes, but delayed storm hydrographs in basins with longer or more gentle slopes. Hydrographs of the largest events, which were extreme regional rain and rain-on-snow floods, were not sensitive to landform characteristics or snowpack presence/absence. Although the presence of a snowpack did not increase peak discharge in small, forested basins during large storms it had contrasting effects on storm timing in small basins, potentially synchronizing small basin contributions to the larger basin hydrograph during large rain-on-snow events. By altering the relative timing of hydrographs, snowpack melting could produce extreme floods from precipitation events whose size is not extreme. Further work is needed to examine effects of canopy openings, snow pack, and climate warming on extreme rain-on-snow floods at the large basin scale.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Perkins, Reed M.; Jones, Julia A. 2008. Climate variability, snow, and physiographic controls on storm hydro graphs in small forested basins, western Cascades, Oregon. Hydrologocal Processes, Vol. 22, p. 4949-4964

    Keywords

    climate, flooding, rain-on-snow, hydrograph, Oregon

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/33275