83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003: 4:30 PM
Linking diurnal cycles of river flow to interannual variations in climate
Jessica D. Lundquist, SIO/Univ. of California and USGS, La Jolla, CA; and M. D. Dettinger
Poster PDF (487.2 kB)
Over fifty routinely-gaged rivers in the Western United States have diurnal variations exceeding 10% of their mean flow in the spring and summer months. The shape and timing of the diurnal cycle is influenced by an interplay of the snow, topography, vegetation, and meteorology in a basin, and the measured result differs between wet and dry years. The largest interannual differences occur during the latter half of the melt season, as the snowline retreats to the highest elevations and most shaded slopes in a basin. In most basins, during this period, the hour of peak discharge shifts to later in the day, and the relative amplitude of the diurnal cycle decreases. The magnitude and rate of these changes in the diurnal cycle vary between years and may provide clues about how long-term variations affect short-term basin dynamics.

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