Tree-ring reconstruction of Upper Gila River discharge

David Meko, Donald A. Graybill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Effective planning for use of water resources requires accurate information on hydrologic variability induced by climatic fluctuations. Tree-ring analysis is one method of extending our knowledge of hydrologic variability beyond the relatively short period covered by gaged streamflow records. In this paper, a network of recently developed tree-ring chronologies is used to reconstruct annual river discharge in the upper Gila River drainage in southeastern Arizona and southwestern Arizona since A.D. 1663. The need for data on hydrologic variability for this semi-arid basin is accentuated because water supply is inadequate to meet current demand. A reconstruction based on multiple linear regression (R2=0.66) indicates that 20th century is unusual for clustering of high-discharge years (early 1900s), severity of multiyear drought (1950s), and amplification of low-frequency discharge variations. Periods of low discharge recur at irregular intervals averaging about 20 years. Comparison with other tree-ring reconstructions shows that these low-flow periods are synchronous from the Gila Basin to the southern part of the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-616
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Bulletin
Volume31
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995

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tree ring
river discharge
reconstruction
river
drought
basin
low flow
water management
fluctuation
streamflow
chronology
amplification
river basin
water supply
water resource
drainage
regression
water
planning
demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Law

Cite this

Tree-ring reconstruction of Upper Gila River discharge. / Meko, David; Graybill, Donald A.

In: Water Resources Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 4, 08.1995, p. 605-616.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meko, David ; Graybill, Donald A. / Tree-ring reconstruction of Upper Gila River discharge. In: Water Resources Bulletin. 1995 ; Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 605-616.
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