- Leslie Reid - Research Geologist
- Susan Hilton - Hydrologist
- Elizabeth Keppeler - Hydrologist
- Diane Sutherland Montoya - Geomorphologist
Caspar Creek Experimental Watershed Study
Located on the Jackson Demonstration State Forest near Fort Bragg, California, the North Fork (473 ha) and South Fork (424 ha) tributary watersheds of Caspar Creek (39° 21' N, 123° 45' W) serve as research sites for evaluating the effects of timber management on streamflow, sedimentation, and erosion. Established in 1961 as a cooperative effort between the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the United States Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), the Caspar Creek study has evolved from a simple paired watershed study into one of the most comprehensive and detailed investigations of its kind. PSW and CAL FIRE have a 100-year Memorandum of Understanding to continue research at the site at least through 2099. Caspar Creek is one of 11 USFS Experimental Forests and Ranges selected in 2007 to complement the national network of Long Term Ecological Research sites.
The half-century-long record from the North and South Forks of Caspar Creek is unique in providing long-term hydrologic data from small, rain-dominated watersheds located in 2nd- and 3rd-growth conifer forests. Because of the kinds of research carried out, the lengthy record, and the relevance of site conditions to major water supply sources, the Caspar Creek Experimental Watersheds have long provided information used both to extend basic knowledge and to guide land management practices.
About the Caspar Creek Experimental Watersheds
- A brief history of the Caspar Creek study
- A brief description of 26 gaged watersheds in North and South Forks.
- Description of long-term cooperative research at Caspar Creek.
- The Caspar Creek Watershed Study Completes 40 Years of Research (June, 2003)
- 100-year Caspar Creek Memorandum of Understanding between California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Pacific Southwest Research Station was signed on September 27, 2010.
- Caspar Creek Phase II: Discovering How Watersheds Respond to Logging
- North Fork tributary treatment variables
- Information about the community of Caspar, California
Caspar Creek Data
- Plot current streamflow, sediment, rainfall, and temperature
- Caspar Creek Experimental Watersheds Hydrologic and Climatic Data
Note: due to technical problems, data downloaded before 8/16/02 contained errors that have now been corrected. Details.
- 1962 - 1997
- 1986 - 2004 (1986 - 2004 for Rainfall, 1989 - 2003 for Temperature, 1996-2003 for Streamflow)
Complete data sets are available on CDs released in May 1998 and in June 2001. For a copy, contact our Data Manager, Jayme Seehafer.
These data files now include:
- Air and water temperature
- Channel cross-sections
- Subsurface hydrology
- Detailed streamflow and sediment data for 13 tributary stations that were installed in the North Fork in August 1985.
- Fish surveys
- Maps of Caspar Creek
- Entire Caspar Creek watershed
- Topography of North and South Forks Caspar Creek
- North Fork Caspar Creek
- South Fork Caspar Creek
- Longitudinal profile of North Fork stream channels
- Geologic and Geomorphic Features Related to Landsliding, North and South Forks of Caspar Creek, Mendocino County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology Open File Report OFR 95-08.
- Table of annual precipitation, streamflow, and sediment (1963-2006).
- Thornthwaite Potential Evapotranspiration (1990-1995)
Caspar Creek Publications & Products
- Proceedings, Conference on Coastal Watersheds -- the Caspar Creek Story. May 6-7, 1998.
- Bibliography of Caspar Creek Publications, including those available on-line