Columbia River flow and drought since 1750
Gedalof, Z.M., D.L. Peterson, and N.J. Mantua. 2004. Columbia River flow and drought since 1750. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 40(6):1579-1592.
A network of 32 drought sensitive tree-ring chronologies is used to reconstruct mean water year flow on the Columbia River at The Dalles, Oregon, since 1750. The reconstruction explains 30 percent of the variability in mean water year (October to September) flow, with a large portion of unexplained variance caused by underestimates of the most severe low flow events. Residual statistics from the tree-ring reconstruction, as well as an identically specified instrumental reconstruction, exhibit positive trends over time. This finding suggests that the relationship between drought and streamflow has changed over time, supporting results from hydrologic models, which suggest that changes in land cover over the 20th Century have had measurable impacts on runoff production.
UW Climate Impacts Group