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Title: Post-Wildfire Peak Discharge Prediction Methods in Northern New Mexico

Abstract

Recent changes in climate have resulted in a decrease in precipitation and snowpack amounts and increased temperatures in the western United States. As the climate warms, there are also changes to runoff amounts and water availability. Drier and warmer conditions coupled with forest management practices have led to an increase in the frequency and size of forest fires. The 2000 Cerro Grande fire in Los Alamos, New Mexico burned over 43,000 acres and 200 structures. Eleven years later, the Las Conchas fire burned over 156,000 acres and 100 structures, including areas previously burned in 2000, and was considered the largest fire in New Mexico’s history. Both fires burned ponderosa, juniper, piñon and mixed conifer forests, resulting in dramatic decreases in vegetation, changes to surface soils, and alterations to the hydrologic cycle (decreased evapotranspiration, decreased infiltration, increased runoff volume and peak discharge, and decreased time to peak discharge) in surrounding watersheds. The frequency of large, intense “mega-fires” are predicted to increase, thus there is a potential for more post-fire flood damage and more surface water resources to be altered due to water quality issues.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1414163
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-31331
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Ronstadt, Jackie A. Post-Wildfire Peak Discharge Prediction Methods in Northern New Mexico. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1414163.
Ronstadt, Jackie A. Post-Wildfire Peak Discharge Prediction Methods in Northern New Mexico. United States. doi:10.2172/1414163.
Ronstadt, Jackie A. 2017. "Post-Wildfire Peak Discharge Prediction Methods in Northern New Mexico". United States. doi:10.2172/1414163. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1414163.
@article{osti_1414163,
title = {Post-Wildfire Peak Discharge Prediction Methods in Northern New Mexico},
author = {Ronstadt, Jackie A.},
abstractNote = {Recent changes in climate have resulted in a decrease in precipitation and snowpack amounts and increased temperatures in the western United States. As the climate warms, there are also changes to runoff amounts and water availability. Drier and warmer conditions coupled with forest management practices have led to an increase in the frequency and size of forest fires. The 2000 Cerro Grande fire in Los Alamos, New Mexico burned over 43,000 acres and 200 structures. Eleven years later, the Las Conchas fire burned over 156,000 acres and 100 structures, including areas previously burned in 2000, and was considered the largest fire in New Mexico’s history. Both fires burned ponderosa, juniper, piñon and mixed conifer forests, resulting in dramatic decreases in vegetation, changes to surface soils, and alterations to the hydrologic cycle (decreased evapotranspiration, decreased infiltration, increased runoff volume and peak discharge, and decreased time to peak discharge) in surrounding watersheds. The frequency of large, intense “mega-fires” are predicted to increase, thus there is a potential for more post-fire flood damage and more surface water resources to be altered due to water quality issues.},
doi = {10.2172/1414163},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Technical Report:

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