Presentation Title

Response of River Discharge due to Forest Disturbance

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

In this research project, we analyzed the effects of forest disturbance on the discharge of fourth order rivers within the associated watershed. The changing climate (i.e., unpredictable precipitation patterns and fluctuating temperatures), anthropogenic landscape disturbances (i.e., industrial forestry practices, mines) and stochastic natural disturbances (i.e., landslides, forest fires) all have differing effects that may result in a shift in the magnitude and timing of discharge in rivers. Shifts in the magnitude and timing of discharge may result in an increase of drought and/or flood events that effect aquatic and riparian ecosystems as well as water management in terms of use and allocation.

The discharge of six fourth order rivers within Interior British Columbia (Chilcotin, Chilko, Mesilinka, Nation, Osilinka, and Spius) were analyzed with frequency analyses to understand trends in discharge and with modified Double Mass Curves to understand if shifts in discharge could be attributed to forest disturbance when removing the effects of climate.The rivers within the same principle drainage area showed similar trends in discharge magnitude and timing when analyzed with frequency analyses and 50% of rivers, not associated by principle drainage area, portrayed shifts in discharge not attributed to climate when analyzed with modified Double Mass Curves. Understanding what land use and/or landscape disturbance may be the cause of a shift in discharge can build on the knowledge used to manage watersheds to protect integral ecosystems and water utilization.

Department

Natural Resource Science

Faculty Advisor

Thomas Pypker

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Response of River Discharge due to Forest Disturbance

In this research project, we analyzed the effects of forest disturbance on the discharge of fourth order rivers within the associated watershed. The changing climate (i.e., unpredictable precipitation patterns and fluctuating temperatures), anthropogenic landscape disturbances (i.e., industrial forestry practices, mines) and stochastic natural disturbances (i.e., landslides, forest fires) all have differing effects that may result in a shift in the magnitude and timing of discharge in rivers. Shifts in the magnitude and timing of discharge may result in an increase of drought and/or flood events that effect aquatic and riparian ecosystems as well as water management in terms of use and allocation.

The discharge of six fourth order rivers within Interior British Columbia (Chilcotin, Chilko, Mesilinka, Nation, Osilinka, and Spius) were analyzed with frequency analyses to understand trends in discharge and with modified Double Mass Curves to understand if shifts in discharge could be attributed to forest disturbance when removing the effects of climate.The rivers within the same principle drainage area showed similar trends in discharge magnitude and timing when analyzed with frequency analyses and 50% of rivers, not associated by principle drainage area, portrayed shifts in discharge not attributed to climate when analyzed with modified Double Mass Curves. Understanding what land use and/or landscape disturbance may be the cause of a shift in discharge can build on the knowledge used to manage watersheds to protect integral ecosystems and water utilization.