Submitted to: Trans American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2004
Publication Date: 9/20/2004
Citation: Seyfried, M., Marks, D., Flerchinger, G., Winstral, A., Murdock, M., 2004. Reynolds Mountain East and Upper Sheep Creek: Experimental Catchments for Cold Season Hydrologic Research. Abstract H31C-0401 In: EOS Transactions Vol 85 (47) Supplement, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C. (CD-ROM abstract)
Technical Abstract: Two snow-dominated, headwater catchments within the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) were established and in the mid-1960's and continue to be maintained for long-term cold season hydrologic research. Reynolds Mountain East (RME) is a 39 ha in extent ranging in elevation from 2024 to 2139 m in elevation with a mean annual precipitation of about 994 mm, and 523 mm of stream discharge. Streamflow monitoring at RME has been continuous since 1963. Upper Sheep Creek is 26 ha in extent ranging in elevation from 1836 to 2015 m with a mean annual precipitation of 435 mm, and 91 mm of stream discharge. Streamflow was monitored from 1970 to 1975 and from 1983 to present. Precipitation in both catchments is predominately snow. They represent conditions at the source area for stream flow in the semi-arid intermountain west of the USA. Since 1996 more than 60 research papers have been published, and 20 PhD and masters thesis completed describing a broad range of cold season hydrologic process investigations. Current research is directed toward detailed analysis of snow deposition and melt processes as affected by topography and vegetation, and linkages to both atmospheric and below ground water and energy fluxes, groundwater recharge and streamflow generation. The instrumentation and measurement plan, and results from past and current research will be presented. In the near future a prescribed fire at USC will be used to study fire effects on snow hydrology. These experimental catchments represent extensive and carefully instrumented facilities for cold season hydrology research, and can be used as examples for the development of new experimental watersheds.