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

Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, Gregory J. McCabe, Connie A. Woodhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

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 evapotranspiration (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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9763-9774
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume51
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Upper Colorado River Basin
  • hydroclimate
  • nonparametric
  • streamflow
  • tree ring
  • water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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