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Seasonal Streamflow and Extreme Event Reconstruction for a Sub-Basin of the Fraser River, B.C., Canada

Authors: Inga Homfeld*, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Bethany L Coulthard, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Geoscience, 4505 Maryland Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89154-4010, USA, Rebecca Brice, University of Arizona, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, School of Geography and Development P.O. Box 210137 Tucson, AZ 85721, USA, Jodi N Axelson, University of California, Berkeley, College of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, 130 Mulford Hall #3114 Berkeley, CA 94720-3114, USA, Dan J Smith, 4University of Victoria, Department of Geography, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Climatology and Meteorology, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: Dendroclimatology, Hydrology, water management, extreme events, British Columbia
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Both floods and droughts have worsened in the Fraser River Basin in British Columbia, Canada, during the last decades. These extreme events threaten local salmon populations, the food and economic sovereignty of over eighty First Nations, and the western Canadian economy. A long-term understanding of natural runoff variability and availability, especially worst-case scenario floods and droughts, is important for water managers to adapt to future change on the Fraser. Paleohydrological reconstructions from tree-rings can be used as one such source of past hydroclimate information, but in the hydroclimatologically- and topographically- complex Fraser River Basin, this can only be achieved season by season and sub-basin by sub-basin. To this end, we present the first seasonal, multi-century reconstruction of streamflow and extreme runoff events for a sub-basin of the Fraser River, including a runs analysis characterising past extreme events and an assessment of influential climate modes.

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