Effects of flow regime on stream turbidity and suspended solids after wildfire, Colorado Front Range

IAHS Red Book 354
By: , and 
Edited by: Mike StoneAdrian Collins, and Martin C. Thoms

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Abstract

Wildfires occur frequently in the Colorado Front Range and can alter the hydrological response of watersheds, yet little information exists on the impact of flow regime and storm events on post-wildfire water quality. The flow regime in the region is characterized by base-flow conditions during much of the year and increased runoff during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms. The impact of snowmelt and storm events on stream discharge and water quality was evaluated for about a year after a wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, USA. During spring snowmelt and low-intensity storms, differences in discharge and turbidity at sites upstream and downstream from the burned areas were minimal. However, high-intensity convective storms resulted in dramatic increases in discharge and turbidity at sites downstream from the burned area. This study highlights the importance of using high-frequency sampling to assess accurately wildfire impacts on water quality downstream.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Effects of flow regime on stream turbidity and suspended solids after wildfire, Colorado Front Range
Series title IAHS Red Book
Series number 354
ISBN 978-1-907161-32-2
Volume 354
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher IAHS Publications
Publisher location Oxfordshire, U.K.
Contributing office(s) Branch of Regional Research-Central Region
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Wildfire and water quality: Processes, impacts and challenges (IAHS Red Book no. 354)
First page 51
Last page 58
Conference Title Wildfire and Water Quality: Processes, Impacts and Challenges
Conference Location Banff, AB
Conference Date June 11-14, 2012
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Colorado Front Range