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Snowpack and streamflow reconstructions from tree-ring proxies in the North Fork Nooksack watershed, North Cascades, Washington

Authors: Hannah LaGassey*, Western Washington University
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Biogeography, Mountain Environments
Keywords: dendrochronology, biogeography, snow, snowpack, streamflow, mountain hemlock, reconstruction, North Cascades, Pacific Northwest
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Melting snowpack provides runoff for streams in the dry summer season of the coastal Pacific Northwest. This season has lengthened as a result of human-induced climate change, causing reduced snowpack, streamflow, and available water resources. Our ability to more fully evaluate snowpack and streamflow in this area is limited by the length of our instrumental records. In the North Fork Nooksack watershed these records begin in the mid-twentieth century, well after the onset of human-induced climate change. I used multiple tree-ring proxies from mountain hemlock (total ring width, early wood width, late wood width, and blue intensity) to reconstruct snowpack and streamflow records in the North Fork Nooksack watershed back to the seventeenth century. These records provide context for current hydrological conditions in the coastal Pacific Northwest.

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