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Publication Information

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Title: Physical hydrology and the effects of forest harvesting in the Pacific Northwest: a review.

Author: Moore, R. Dan; Wondzell, S.M.;

Date: 2005

Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 41(4): 763-784

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The Pacific Northwest encompasses a range of hydrologic regimes that can be broadly characterized as either coastal (where rain and rain on snow are dominant) or interior (where snowmelt is dominant). Forest harvesting generally increases the fraction of precipitation that is available to become streamflow, increases rates of snowmelt, and modifies the runoff pathways by which water flows to the stream channel. Harvesting may potentially decrease the magnitude of hyporheic exchange flow through increases in fine sediment and clogging of bed materials and through changes in channel morphology, although the ecological consequences of these changes are unclear. In small headwater catchments, forest harvesting generally increases annual runoff and peak flows and reduces the severity of low flows, but exceptions have been observed for each effect. Low flows appear to be more sensitive to transpiration from vegetation in the riparian zone than in the rest of the catchment. Although it appears that harvesting increased only the more frequent, geomorphically benign peak flows in several studies, in others the treatment effect increased with return period. Recovery to pre-harvest conditions appeared to occur within about 10 to 20 years in some coastal catchments but may take many decades in mountainous, snow dominated catchments.

Keywords: streamflow, forest harvesting, headwater, peak flow, low flow, water yield, small catchment, Pacific Northwest

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Citation:


Moore, R. Dan; Wondzell, S.M. 2005. Physical hydrology and the effects of forest harvesting in the Pacific Northwest: a review. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 41(4): 763-784

 


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