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Influence of hydroclimate on characteristics of hydrograph evolution in snowmelt-dominated river systems




Matter, Margaret A., author
Garcia, Luis, author
Fontane, Darrell, author
Colorado State University, publisher

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Earlier and more accurate water supply forecasts for the Colorado River Basin (CRB) could help reduce uncertainty and risk when making decisions and lengthen lead time for planning more efficient and effective water supply strategies. The approach presented quantifies characteristic hydrograph responses to interannual variations in hydroclimatic conditions in snowmelt-dominated river systems. Results for the CRB indicate that beginning in fall (4-6 months prior to April forecasts), differences in timing, magnitude and form of seasonal hydrographs and amount of streamflow variability correlate closely with relative magnitude and timing of up-coming snowmelt runoff. These results suggest and recent advances in understanding effects of ocean/atmosphere interactions on precipitation in the CRB support, that essential hydroclimatic conditions that drive snowpack development and snowmelt establish by fall and persist into spring. The use of teleconnections to develop characteristic streamflow responses in the CRB provides insight into atmosphere/land processes that influence snowpack development and runoff characteristics.


2005 annual AGU hydrology days was held at Colorado State University on March 7 - March 9, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.

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