Event Title

Historical streamflow and climate trends in glacierized watersheds of the Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia

Description

This study examines historical streamflows from four watersheds of approximately 1000 km2 size and 14% glacier cover in the Selkirk Mountains, BC. The objective is to identify possible changes in the annual mean discharge and date of the annual melt runoff peak as a result of climate change. Of the four rivers, only the Incomappleux shows a statistically significant 8% decrease in annual mean discharge since 1953. One other river, the Illecillewaet, shows a statistically significant 15 day shift to an earlier runoff peak since 1964. The 40th year climate record from Rogers Pass at 1323 m elevation shows a statistically significant 20% decrease in winter precipitation. No such decrease is evident in the 37 year record from Mount Fidelity at 1875 m elevation, a fact reflected in the lack of any trend in the end of winter snowpack water equivalent at three high elevation snow courses. The climate data also show statistically significant increases in the proportion of winter precipitation falling as rain and in winter mean daily temperature, but no increases in mean daily temperature during the melt season. Possible connections between these results, the proportion of each basin covered by ice, and the streamflow trends will be discussed.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

8-3-2008 8:00 AM

Subject - LCSH

Streamflow--Climatic factors--Selkirk Range; Glaciers--Climatic factors--Selkirk Range; Runoff--Climatic factors--Selkirk Range

End Date

8-3-2008 5:00 PM

Session

Glacial Studies: Interior Ranges

Genre/Form

Abstracts

Type

event

Geographic Coverage

Selkirk Range

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Keywords

streamflow, glaciers, Selkirk Mountains, climate change

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Mar 8th, 8:00 AM Mar 8th, 5:00 PM

Historical streamflow and climate trends in glacierized watersheds of the Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia

This study examines historical streamflows from four watersheds of approximately 1000 km2 size and 14% glacier cover in the Selkirk Mountains, BC. The objective is to identify possible changes in the annual mean discharge and date of the annual melt runoff peak as a result of climate change. Of the four rivers, only the Incomappleux shows a statistically significant 8% decrease in annual mean discharge since 1953. One other river, the Illecillewaet, shows a statistically significant 15 day shift to an earlier runoff peak since 1964. The 40th year climate record from Rogers Pass at 1323 m elevation shows a statistically significant 20% decrease in winter precipitation. No such decrease is evident in the 37 year record from Mount Fidelity at 1875 m elevation, a fact reflected in the lack of any trend in the end of winter snowpack water equivalent at three high elevation snow courses. The climate data also show statistically significant increases in the proportion of winter precipitation falling as rain and in winter mean daily temperature, but no increases in mean daily temperature during the melt season. Possible connections between these results, the proportion of each basin covered by ice, and the streamflow trends will be discussed.