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Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
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Portland, OR 97204

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Entiat River Basin Climate Change Impacts


This Economic Recovery project was led by Richard Woodsmith of the PNW Research Station’s Threat Characterization and Management Program, and was accomplished through a Cooperative Agreement with the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) of the University of Washington’s Center for Science in the Earth System. Under this agreement the CIG employed a researcher, two research assistants, and a computer analyst to participate in an ongoing effort to refine and test the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) in the Entiat Experimental Forest (EEF) in Chelan County (WA), a low rainfall area in the Columbia Basin subject to wildland fire and drought typical of the dry interior West.

The project supported collection of hydrologic and meteorologic data in the EEF, which were then used to refine the DHSVM for assessment of climate change impacts on parameters important to the the local water supply. Results of this work will help land managers, the Entiat Watershed Planning Unit, and other decision makers to anticipate affects of climate change on federal, state and private lands across the Interior Columbia Basin, including forecasting effects on threatened and endangered salmon.

The Entiat WPU is an association of resource specialists, local, state and federal agencies, and landowners that seek an informed approach to balancing the competing interests at stake within the watershed. Over the last decade, the Entiat WPU has advanced the goals of seeking restoration of depleted salmon stocks, restoring aquatic and riparian function and meeting the needs of growing human activity in the Entiat River Basin in Chelan County, Washington, USA.

This project was completed during the winter of 2010. The work contributed substantially to building the fundamental EEF database for use in current and future studies. Using this database, the researchers successfully refined and tested the DHSVM to allow its application over the experimental forest at 30-meter-resolution and over the entire Entiat basin at 100-meter-resolution. This provided a foundation that directly supports ongoing research on likely effects of climate change on the snowpack, streamflow, water supply, habitat, and ecosystem processes in the Entiat basin.

Based on this foundation, the research will now (using non-ARRA funds) be able to expand to more fully characterize and quantify disturbance and recovery processes, and to relate these processes to physical parameters (such as soil moisture or meteorological drivers). This will allow computer models to dynamically simulate the vegetation recovery process in response to disturbance and climate change and to simulate the hydrologic impacts of these changes.




 

 

 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,18November2014 at11:48:55CST


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