Beyond annual streamflow reconstructions for the Upper Colorado River Basin: a paleo-water-balance approach

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

In this paper, we present a methodology to use annual tree-ring chronologies and a monthly water balance model to generate annual reconstructions of water balance variables (e.g., potential evapotrans- piration (PET), actual evapotranspiration (AET), snow water equivalent (SWE), soil moisture storage (SMS), and runoff (R)). The method involves resampling monthly temperature and precipitation from the instrumental record directed by variability indicated by the paleoclimate record. The generated time series of monthly temperature and precipitation are subsequently used as inputs to a monthly water balance model. The methodology is applied to the Upper Colorado River Basin, and results indicate that the methodology reliably simulates water-year runoff, maximum snow water equivalent, and seasonal soil moisture storage for the instrumental period. As a final application, the methodology is used to produce time series of PET, AET, SWE, SMS, and R for the 1404–1905 period for the Upper Colorado River Basin.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Beyond annual streamflow reconstructions for the Upper Colorado River Basin: a paleo-water-balance approach
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1002/2015WR017283
Volume 51
Issue 12
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 12 p.
First page 9763
Last page 9774