Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(1.2 MB)

Title: Impacts of wildfire on runoff and sediment loads at Little Granite Creek, western Wyoming

Author: Ryan, Sandra E.; Dwire, Kathleen A.; Dixon, Mark K.

Date: 2011

Source: Geomorphology. 129: 113-130.

Publication Series: Not categorized

Description: Baseline data on rates of sediment transport provide useful information on the inherent variability of stream processes and may be used to assess departure in channel form or process from disturbances. In August 2000, wildfire burned portions of the Little Granite Creek watershed near Bondurant, WY where bedload and suspended sediment measurements had been collected during 13 previous runoff seasons. This presented an opportunity to quantify increases in sediment loads associated with a large-scale natural disturbance. The first three years post-fire were warm and dry, with low snowpacks and few significant summer storms. Despite relatively low flows during the first runoff season, the estimated sediment load was about five times that predicted from regression of data from the pre-burn record. Increased sediment loading occurred during the rising limb and peak of snowmelt (54%) and during the few summer storms (44%). While high during the first post-fire year, total annual sediment yield decreased during the next two years, indicating an eventual return to baseline levels. The results from this sediment monitoring lacked some of the more dramatic responses that have been observed in other watersheds following fire. In other environments, moderate-to-high intensity rainstorms caused significant flooding, widespread debris flows and channel incision and aggradation. A few moderate intensity storms (b2 year recurrence interval) occurred in the Little Granite Creek watershed, but they did not trigger this type of response. Instead, ash and charcoal rich discharges (herein described as "blackwater flows") and heavily sediment laden flows were observed without physical evidence of debris flows, as defined by channel incision into previously unchanneled areas. Speculatively, the sedimentation pattern and geomorphic response in Little Granite Creek may be fairly typical of stream responses to wildfire during times of continued drought and in the absence of widespread, significant rainfall, representing one type of response on a continuum of effects following wildfire.

Keywords: fire effects, runoff, sediment, suspended sediment concentration, Little Granite Creek

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Ryan, Sandra E.; Dwire, Kathleen A.; Dixon, Mark K. 2011. Impacts of wildfire on runoff and sediment loads at Little Granite Creek, western Wyoming. Geomorphology. 129: 113-130.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.