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): Christopher J. Sergeant; Jeffrey A. Falke; Rebecca A. Bellmore; J. Ryan Bellmore; Ryan L. Crumley
    Date: 2020
    Source: Water Resources Research. 56(2): 153-.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (20.0 MB)

    Description

    Streamflow controls many freshwater and marine processes, including salinity profiles, sediment composition, fluxes of nutrients, and the timing of animal migrations. Watersheds that border the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) comprise over 400,000 km2 of largely pristine freshwater habitats and provide ecosystem services such as reliable fisheries for local and global food production. Yet no comprehensive watershed‐scale description of current temporal and spatial patterns of streamflow exists within the coastal GOA. This is an immediate need because the spatial distribution of future streamflow patterns may shift dramatically due to warming air temperature, increased rainfall, diminishing snowpack, and rapid glacial recession. Our primary goal was to describe variation in streamflow patterns across the coastal GOA using an objective set of descriptors derived from flow predictions at the downstream‐most point within each watershed. We leveraged an existing hydrologic runoff model and Bayesian mixture model to classify 4,140 watersheds into 13 classes based on seven streamflow statistics. Maximum discharge timing (annual phase shift) and magnitude relative to mean discharge (amplitude) were the most influential attributes. Seventy‐six percent of watersheds by number showed patterns consistent with rain or snow as dominant runoff sources, while the remaining watersheds were driven by rain‐snow, glacier, or low‐elevation wetland runoff. Streamflow classes exhibited clear mechanistic links to elevation, ice coverage, and other landscape features. Our classification identifies watersheds that might shift streamflow patterns in the near future and, importantly, will help guide the design of studies that evaluate how hydrologic change will influence coastal GOA ecosystems.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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

    Sergeant, Christopher J.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Bellmore, Rebecca A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Crumley, Ryan L. 2020. A classification of streamflow patterns across the coastal Gulf of Alaska. Water Resources Research. 56(2): 153-. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR026127.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Streamflow classification, hydrology, Gulf of Alaska, Tongass and Chugach National Forests

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60529