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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Spatial and Temporal Effects of Fire on the Hydrology of Steep Rangeland Watersheds

item Robichaud, P - FOREST SERVICE

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Wildfire is a major ecological process and management issue in western range and forest ecosystems. Major unknowns associated with wildfire are its affect on vegetation and soil conditions and hydrologic processes including infiltration, surface runoff, erosion, sediment production and transport, and flooding. Improved small-plot rainfall simulation techniques are being applied in wildland fire settings to determine post-fire hydrologic response. Infiltration, runoff, erosion, and longer-term basin hydrologic processes are currently being studied on the 1999 34,400-ha Denio Fire in northwestern Nevada. Plot-scale spatial and temporal variability of fire impacts are compared to adjacent unburned areas. Fire impacts on hydrologic response at the catchment-scale are also being studied. Thus far, rainfall simulation results indicate little effect of fire on infiltration, but significant effects on surface runoff and erosion processes. Such results are substantiated at the catchment-scale during multiple snowmelt/frozen soil runoff events.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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