Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought

David Meko, Charles W. Stockton, W. R. Boggess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a 'worst-case' drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site tree-ring network, 1600-1962, identifies a four-year drought in the 1660s as the longest-duration large-scale drought in the Southwest in the recent tree-ring record. Longer tree-ring records suggest a much longer and more severe drought in 1579-1598. The regression estimate of the mean annual Colorado River flow for this period is 10.95 million acre-feet, or 81 percent of the long-term mean. The estimated flows for the 1500s should be used with caution in impact studies because sample size is small and some reconstructed values are extrapolations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-801
Number of pages13
JournalWater Resources Bulletin
Volume31
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995

Fingerprint

tree ring
drought
river
river flow
river basin
scenario
regression
water
Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Meko, D., Stockton, C. W., & Boggess, W. R. (1995). Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought. Water Resources Bulletin, 31(5), 789-801.

Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought. / Meko, David; Stockton, Charles W.; Boggess, W. R.

In: Water Resources Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 5, 10.1995, p. 789-801.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meko, D, Stockton, CW & Boggess, WR 1995, 'Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought', Water Resources Bulletin, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 789-801.
Meko D, Stockton CW, Boggess WR. Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought. Water Resources Bulletin. 1995 Oct;31(5):789-801.
Meko, David ; Stockton, Charles W. ; Boggess, W. R. / Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought. In: Water Resources Bulletin. 1995 ; Vol. 31, No. 5. pp. 789-801.
@article{d0df9d8792a648148b1d57cf699e9f0c,
title = "Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought",
abstract = "Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a 'worst-case' drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site tree-ring network, 1600-1962, identifies a four-year drought in the 1660s as the longest-duration large-scale drought in the Southwest in the recent tree-ring record. Longer tree-ring records suggest a much longer and more severe drought in 1579-1598. The regression estimate of the mean annual Colorado River flow for this period is 10.95 million acre-feet, or 81 percent of the long-term mean. The estimated flows for the 1500s should be used with caution in impact studies because sample size is small and some reconstructed values are extrapolations.",
author = "David Meko and Stockton, {Charles W.} and Boggess, {W. R.}",
year = "1995",
month = "10",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "789--801",
journal = "Journal of the American Water Resources Association",
issn = "1093-474X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tree-ring record of severe sustained drought

AU - Meko, David

AU - Stockton, Charles W.

AU - Boggess, W. R.

PY - 1995/10

Y1 - 1995/10

N2 - Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a 'worst-case' drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site tree-ring network, 1600-1962, identifies a four-year drought in the 1660s as the longest-duration large-scale drought in the Southwest in the recent tree-ring record. Longer tree-ring records suggest a much longer and more severe drought in 1579-1598. The regression estimate of the mean annual Colorado River flow for this period is 10.95 million acre-feet, or 81 percent of the long-term mean. The estimated flows for the 1500s should be used with caution in impact studies because sample size is small and some reconstructed values are extrapolations.

AB - Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a 'worst-case' drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site tree-ring network, 1600-1962, identifies a four-year drought in the 1660s as the longest-duration large-scale drought in the Southwest in the recent tree-ring record. Longer tree-ring records suggest a much longer and more severe drought in 1579-1598. The regression estimate of the mean annual Colorado River flow for this period is 10.95 million acre-feet, or 81 percent of the long-term mean. The estimated flows for the 1500s should be used with caution in impact studies because sample size is small and some reconstructed values are extrapolations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0029389547&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0029389547&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0029389547

VL - 31

SP - 789

EP - 801

JO - Journal of the American Water Resources Association

JF - Journal of the American Water Resources Association

SN - 1093-474X

IS - 5

ER -