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Updated Streamflow Reconstructions for the Upper Colorado River Basin


Satellite image of Lake Powell, Utah on the Colorado River above Lee's Ferry, Arizona. USGS Landsat Photo. Updated Streamflow Reconstructions for the Upper Colorado River Basin
Water Resources Research
Vol. 42, W05415, 11 May 2006.

Connie A. Woodhouse1, Stephen T. Gray2, David M. Meko3

1 NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Boulder, CO
2 U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Laboratory, Tucson, AZ
3 Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ



Satellite image of Lake Powell, Utah on the Colorado River above Lee's Ferry, Arizona. USGS Landsat Photo.
ABSTRACT:
Updated proxy reconstructions of water year (October-September) streamflow for four key gauges in the Upper Colorado River Basin were generated using an expanded tree ring network and longer calibration records than in previous efforts. Reconstructed gauges include the Green River at Green River, Utah; Colorado near Cisco, Utah; San Juan near Bluff, Utah; and Colorado at Lees Ferry, Arizona. The reconstructions explain 72-81% of the variance in the gauge records, and results are robust across several reconstruction approaches. Time series plots as well as results of cross-spectral analysis indicate strong spatial coherence in runoff variations across the subbasins. The Lees Ferry reconstruction suggests a higher long-term mean than previous reconstructions but strongly supports earlier findings that Colorado River allocations were based on one of the wettest periods in the past 5 centuries and that droughts more severe than any 20th to 21st century event occurred in the past.
Download data from the WDC Paleo archive:
Upper Colorado Streamflow Reconstructions in Text or Microsoft Excel format.
Supplementary Data 1. Chronology data and metadata
Supplementary Data 2. Regression equations and coefficients, PC data
Supplementary Data 3. Loadings from PCA on chronologies

To read or view the full study, please visit the AGU website.
It was published in Water Resources Research, Vol. 42, W05415, 11 May 2006.
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