Streamflow variability and hydroclimatic change at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM), USA
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Seasonal variations in streamflow and the associated hydrologic extremes impart significant temporal structure to watershed-scale chemical fluxes. Consequently, a careful characterization of the episodic-to-seasonal and longer-term streamflow variations is a first step toward developing a comprehensive view of the temporal dynamics of watershed processes in a changing climate. Here we analyze a nearly two-decade-long streamflow record for the East Bear subwatershed within the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) (USA) to understand the envelope of streamflow variability by season, with a particular focus on the high flow events that have a disproportionately large impact on the biogeochemical processes and fluxes. Interannual and longer-term variations in a number of derived statistical metrics of hydrologic variability are examined. Our analysis shows substantial interannual and longer-term variability in seasonal flow volumes and peak flows. Furthermore, a long, unimpaired streamflow record for the Narraguagus River (a proximate watershed to the BBWM) is examined with a view to understand the relative coherence in hydrologic variability, as well as quantifying the decadal and longer-term hydrologic variations in this region. We find that the streamflow variability in the two watersheds shows similarity in all seasons. A moving window analysis to assess the changing flood potential over time indicates upward trends in the recent decades. Spring season (March–May) flood estimates show a near-monotonic trend over the 1949–2008 record. Finally, empirical relationships between streamflow and large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns highlight the regional and global climatic drivers of hydrologic extremes in this region, including impacts from remnants of Atlantic hurricanes.
- Cleveland, WS (1979) Robust locally weighted regression and smoothing scatterplots. Journal of the American Statistical Association 74: pp. 829-836 CrossRef
- Collins, MJ (2009) Evidence for changing flood risk in New England since the late 20th century. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 45: pp. 279-290 CrossRef
- Dominguez, F, Kumar, P (2005) Dominant modes of moisture flux anomalies over North America. Journal of Hydrometeorology 6: pp. 194-209 CrossRef
- Dudley, R. W., & Hodgkins, G. A. (2005). Trends in timing, magnitude, and duration of summer and fall/winter streamflows for unregulated coastal river basins in Maine during the 20th century. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5021, 26 pp.
- Hodgkins, GA, Dudley, RW, Huntington, TG (2003) Changes in the timing of high river flows in New England over the 20th century. Journal of Hydrology 278: pp. 242-250 CrossRef
- Hornberger, GM, Bencala, KE, McKnight, DM (1994) Hydrological controls on dissolved organic carbon during snowmelt in the Snake River near Montezuma, Colorado. Biogeochemistry 25: pp. 147-165 CrossRef
- Hornberger, GM, Germann, PF, Beven, KJ (1991) Throughflow and solute transport on an isolated soil block in a forested catchment near Orono, Maine. Journal of Hydrology 124: pp. 81-99 CrossRef
- Kistler, R (2001) The NCEP–NCAR 50-year reanalysis: Monthly means CD-ROM and documentation. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 82: pp. 247-267 CrossRef
- Laudon, H, Norton, SA (2010) Drivers and evolution of episodic acidification at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
- Likens, GE (2004) Some perspectives on long-term biogeochemical research from the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. Ecology 85: pp. 2355-2362 CrossRef
- Mo, KC, Berbery, EH (2004) Low-level jets and the summer precipitation regimes over North America. Journal of Geophysical Research 109: pp. 06117 CrossRef
- Navrátil, T, Norton, SA, Fernandez, IJ, Nelson, SJ (2010) Twenty-year inter-annual trends and seasonal variations in precipitation and stream water chemistry at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
- Norton, S, Kahl, J, Fernandez, I, Haines, T, Rustad, L, Nodvin, S (1999) The Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM), U.S.A. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 55: pp. 7-51 CrossRef
- Pellerin, B, Fernandez, I, Norton, S, Kahl, J (2002) Soil aluminum distribution in the near-stream zone at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 134: pp. 189-204 CrossRef
- Poff, LN, Allan, JD, Bain, MD, Karr, JR, Prestegaard, KL, Richter, BL (1997) The natural flow regime: A paradigm for river conservation and restoration. BioScience 47: pp. 769-784 CrossRef
- Slack, J. L., & Landwehr, J. M. (1992). USGS Open-File Report 92-129, Hydro-Climatic Data Network: A U.S. Geological Survey stream flow data set for the United States for the study of climate variations, 1874–1988. Technical Report, U.S. Geological Survey.
- Streamflow variability and hydroclimatic change at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM), USA
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 171, Issue 1-4 , pp 47-58
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Hydrologic change
- Watershed fluxes
- Climate change
- Bear Brook Watershed in Maine
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5711, USA
- 2. Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5790, USA
- 3. Department of Earth Science, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5790, USA